Villeneuve turned down late Wheldon’s Indycar drive

Jacques Villeneuve has revealed he turned down the chance to contest the 2011 Indycar season finale because he considered it too dangerous. Ultimately, it was the late Dan Wheldon who accepted the series’ offer to charge for $5 million in prize-money.

1997 world champion Villeneuve, who before switching to F1 was the Indycar champion and Indy 500 winner, told Auto Motor und Sport he turned down the offer to race at Las Vegas.

Referring to Wheldon’s death, Villeneuve said he turned down the drive “precisely for this reason.

“If there are 34 people on a small oval then there are always going to be a couple of spinners, or rookies who are going to cause an accident. I have nothing against risk, but that one was too big for me,” the French Canadian said on his visit last weekend to Interlagos. “I know what it feels like to fly into a wall at 300.”