Jacques Villeneuve’s future on the F1 grid, both in 2006 and for next year, hung in the balance as the grand prix world congregated in Budapest on Thursday.
The French Canadian veteran has been replaced by BMW-Sauber’s flourishing test driver Robert Kubica, after team boss Mario Theissen explained in the paddock that 35-year-old Villeneuve suffered from a persistent ‘headache’ in the days following his shunt in Germany.
But this week’s press release hinted that Jacques might not return to the controls of his race car this year.
21-year-old Kubica shod no light on the subject in a press conference.
”I don’t know. You will have to ask Mario,” reporters were told by Kubica, who is the first driver from Poland to race in the series.
He did suggest, though, that the Villeneuve affair was not contrived, by revealing that he only knew about his Hungarian opportunity an hour before the official announcement.
Theissen, meanwhile, said a decision about the rest of the season would be taken after Sunday’s race, and replied to a question about whether Villeneuve was likely to return that there are ‘no guarantees in life’.