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Focus - Villeneuve’s final home-coming? 27 Sep 2003

Jacques Villeneuve (CDN) BAR.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, United States Grand Prix, Preparations, Indianapolis, USA, 25 September 2003

Indianapolis is something of a second home for Jacques Villeneuve. Lest any of you petrol heads have forgotten, Jacques won the Indy 500 back in 1995 and, away from racing, the city is where he lived during his three years of racing in North America, so he knows it well.

He has since sold his house Downtown, but his manager and mentor Craig Pollock - and now PK Racing team owner in ChampCar - still owns a house here, which is where he has stayed during this grand prix weekend with his American girlfriend Ellie.

Every time he enters and leaves the track he is reminded of his past glory here because his face adorns the back of one of the grandstands near the main entrance. Sadly for Jacques, this might be the last time that he visits the Brickyard because his chances of staying in Formula One in 2004 appear to be getting slimmer by the day.

The Indy paddock is full of rumours predicting that Takuma Sato will replace him in the team next year. Sato is a Honda protégé and the smart money is on him being announced as a BAR-Honda race driver for '04 at the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix.

And Jacques' chances of persuading his bosses that he still has what it takes were not helped today when he was out-qualified by team mate Jenson Button by 0.4s.