Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve has spoken of his desire to return to the sport after retiring in 2006.
The 38-year-old maintains that he left the sport because it had become mediocre, and that he yearned for the days when the driving made the difference. He told Autosprint magazine that the changes he had been asking for for years were now being introduced, and that was making him reconsider his retirement decision.
“I’m a racing driver and I always will be,” Villeneuve told Autosprint. “That’s why I’m looking about myself for F1.
“Driving is the only thing that interests me, and all the mess that’s happened helps me: with the test ban, we experienced drivers are handy. I can’t say what will happen, but I’m giving it a go.
“In my opinion today’s cars are better to watch, and they will be even more so next year. They will be more fun driving them, especially with the fuel-stop ban. You can see them sliding more, without electronic aids: this way the show is better. I’ve been saying it for ten years: ban pitstops, get back to slick tyres, and get rid of electronics. I’m only sorry that compulsory pitstops for tyre changes are staying, because that takes away some of the action coming from the fuel factor.
“It’s good to see a driver who stays on the track without changing tyres, maybe running slower, while another one maybe wastes time in the pitstop then closes the gap.”
The 1997 champ’s remarks will shock a number of F1 fans who thought the sport had seen the last of him. Villeneuve failed to impress after his debut season in 1996 and subsequent championship in 1997, and many consider him to be the worst driver to win the world championship in the modern era.
Villeneuve always had a quote ready, however, and his mouth may yet see him into a test driving spot with one of the new teams on the grid who are looking for drivers to fill their seats.