While he was to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in two weeks, the former Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve was finally replaced within the Vanwall team, for personal and sporting reasons.
Bad luck for the thousands of spectators of the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans! On June 10 and 11, they will not see the Canadian Jacques Villeneuve, crowned Formula 1 world champion in 1997, on the legendary Sarthois circuit. The 52-year-old driver was indeed dismissed on Thursday by his Austrian team Vanwall, who decided to replace him with 33-year-old Frenchman Tristan Vautier, who had already taken part in the legendary race last year, within the team ARC Bratislava. He will drive with Tom Dillmann and Esteban Guerrieri. Colin Kolles, the boss of Vanwall, justified his choice withAutohedbo. “There are two reasons why Jacques will not drive at Le Mans. The first is that he does not have enough mileage with the car due to various circumstances. The second is that his wife is expecting a child (early June, editor’s note). That’s why we decided it was best for him not to drive. We tested at Monza in early May and made this decision after three days of testing. »
Villeneuve and Vanwall have not finished any races this season
Since leaving F1 in 2006, Jacques Villeneuve has tested several different motor sports, such as Nascar, Indycar, Rallycross or Formula E and took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2007 (retirement with Peugeot) and 2008 (second with Peugeot). This year, in addition to his activity as an F1 consultant for Canal +, he took the first three rounds of the Endurance season, but it went badly for the Vanwall team, forced to retire each time, whether at Sebring (suspension), Portimao (brakes) or Spa-Francorchamps (accident). Hence the lack of mileage invoked by Colin Kolles. Failing to drive, Jacques Villeneuve will be able to take advantage of his child, who will be his sixth, the second with his partner Giulia Marra. In total, 186 drivers will be at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the three categories on the program. The queen category, that of the Hypercar, will have fifteen cars in addition to that of the Vautier-Dillmann-Guerrieri trio. The Toyota n°8, with Sebastian Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa at the wheel, defending champion, will of course be at the start. Last year, only five Hypercars started. The competition will only be more exciting in 2023!