Motor racing: frustrating day for Villeneuve
SEBRING | To say that Jacques Villeneuve was confined to a spectator role on this second and final day of private testing in Florida is not not too exaggerated.
Aboard his Vanwall, Jacques Villeneuve only completed three fast laps on Sunday during the last day of preparatory practice.
His preparation for the first stage of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) suffered a severe blow, he who covered only three fast laps on Sunday at the wheel of his Vanwall, on the Sebring circuit.
“Actually, I didn't manage to do a single lap to my liking. This is how endurance is made. We are three drivers for one car,” he told the Journal.
A collision in the morning
The day had started badly when he was involved in the morning in a collision with a car much slower than his.
The prestigious Ferrari team is making a comeback this year in the World Endurance Championship.
It should be explained that this endurance series brings together three classes of cars with significant speed differences. Some of the pilots also have less experience than others. This can create particularly dangerous situations on the track.
This is what happened to Villeneuve, whose touch with a rival could not be avoided. This was followed by contact with a protective wall.
“We lost a lot of time replacing parts of the front suspension that were damaged during the impact. When the car was repaired, it was no longer the same. All the adjustments have to be redone”, underlines Villeneuve.
At the very end of the day, with only fifteen minutes left before the curtain went down, Villeneuve finally took over from one of his teammates, but after just one lap, a red flag ( broken down car on the circuit) came to interrupt the session for good. End of shows.
“I was hoping to ride a little longer before the end of the day, but it didn't happen,” he added. < /p>
“I admit that I am frustrated with the situation, he confided. My team had told me that I was the one who had to do the most laps during the two preparatory days. Rather the opposite has happened. »
« I have to learn the behavior of the car. My apprenticeship is far from over. The other two pilots know her more than me. »
Three free practice sessions
The crews present at Sebring will resume hostilities on Wednesday when two free practice sessions are scheduled. Another, the last, will take place the next day.
“These sessions last only one hour each and all three drivers must participate”, reminds Villeneuve.
The qualifying session (only 15 minutes) will take place on Thursday evening. < /p>
Frenchman Tom Dillmann, one of Villeneuve's teammates, was credited with the fastest time in the Austrian team Vanwall . He lapped the circuit in 1:50.038 on Sunday, finishing ninth, more than a second and a half slower than the two Toyotas at the top of the table with virtually identical times.
The start of the 1000 Miles of Sebring will be given on Friday at noon and the checkered flag will be waved eight hours later. A total of 37 teams are entered, 11 of which are grouped in the queen category, Hypercar, of which Villeneuve is a part.
♦ Argentinian Esteban Guerrieri is the third driver recruited by the Vanwall team , one of only two structures on the set not to be associated with a major automaker.