Renault Deny Villeneuve Rumors for 2011

During the recent Canadian Grand Prix, former world champion Jacques Villeneuve admitted he will make one final attempt to return to the series in 2011. After that, he'll give up trying to find a seat in the series that turned him into a world champion more than a decade ago.

Shortly after his comments, the media started rumoring about Villeneuve's potential destination. Apart from Serbian outfit Stefan GP – with whom he has been in contact for a 2010 seat also, before the FIA turned down their bid for an F1 seat – the Canadian driver is believed to have some good personal relationship with Renault's team owner Gerard Lopez and shareholder Eric Lux.

However, when talking about the prospect of fielding Villeneuve for the 2011 season, team principal Eric Boullier moved quickly to dismiss such a possibility, insisting that Renault is no longer in need of an experienced driver to help with the development of their car.

Jacques is a world champion and a driver of exceptional talent for whom I have great respect. There is no doubt he could help a team looking for a driver with his profile. This was not the case for us,” said Boullier in a recent interview with Canada's Rue Frontenac.

Additionally, Boullier revealed that signing a non-active driver for a full season is risky business nowadays, with the FIA rulebook clearly forbidding any testing for old drivers through the duration of the season.

The current regulations that limit private testing greatly affect the potential return of a non-active driver. A driver who leaves competition loses his normal speed, his reflexes are a bit dulled as are his physical abilities to take the car to its maximum potential. That's just natural. Whatever you do in sports, the specific skills needed to race in F1 must be constantly maintained,” concluded Boullier.
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