Jacques Villeneuve will drive a grand prix car again next week, but his hopes of returning to Williams may be dashed by the team’s partiality to Mark Webber. Which of the two do you think will be the best replacement for Juan-Pablo Montoya next year?

Jacques Villeneuve will drive a grand prix car again next week, but his hopes of returning to Williams may be dashed by the team’s partiality to Mark Webber. Which of the two do you think will be the best replacement for Juan-Pablo Montoya next year?


Rumours surfaced at last week’s Canadian Grand Prix that Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion with Williams, was looking to make a F1 comeback with his old team after leaving BAR Honda under a cloud of controversy last year.


Williams-BMW is currently looking for a replacement for Montoya and have said they may test the Canadian in August or September. The team may also need to replace Ralf Schumacher, should he choose to leave Williams and join Toyota, but recent statements by the German suggest that he may stay at the Grove-based team if its form improves.


Jacques to drive his father’s Ferrari


Meanwhile, the Canadian has done his utmost to get in the ideal physical condition for an F1 comeback in 2005. Organisers of the Festival of Speed at Goodwood confirmed on Wednesday that Villeneuve would drive the Ferrari 312 T3 car, with which his late father Gilles won the 1978 Canadian Grand Prix, on June 26.


The Journal de Montreal newspaper said the 33-year-old, who rarely talks about his father in public, could also wear a helmet in the colours of the Ferrari favourite who died during practice for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix.


But Villeneuve must be holding thumbs that both Williams-BMW seats will become available next year. Jaguar Racing’s Australian ace Mark Webber was officially named as the favourite to take over from Montoya at Williams-BMW at the end of this year.


Montoya has already signed to join McLaren-Mercedes next season and Williams-BMW technical director Sam Michael believes Webber would be the perfect choice to take his place.


‘Webber has the right mentality’


When asked if Webber is still the favourite for the drive Michael said: "Yes. He has the right mentality, he has an aggressive attitude in a positive sense and he seems like a good team player.


"He has been successful and very fast in any car he has ever driven - sportscars, Formula Fords and Formula One - he has most of the time out-performed his team-mates so he looks like a positive step," Michael added.


Webber, who joined Jaguar last year, is in the middle of a three-year contract with the British team. He has still not bettered the fifth place finish he scored with backmarkers Minardi on his F1 début in the 2001 Australian Grand Prix. He is understood to be very keen on a move after scoring just three points this season and although he is tied into his Jaguar contract there are get-out clauses that will allow him to leave prematurely.


Williams considering all the options


Williams have held discussions with Webber but Michael said: "It is obviously confidential but he is on the list and what his personal situation is with his contract is something that remains to be seen."


What about Villeneuve’s chances? "We might consider a test (with Villeneuve) later in the year but to say we will do is a bit premature. He obviously wants to do the job, he seems like a committed guy and wants to prove he is not over the hill," Michael said.

Original article from Car