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Davidson to replace Villeneuve?

NEWS STORY
16/03/2005

That's what British magazine Autosport is claiming.

Following a relatively poor performance in Melbourne and some rather negative comments from team boss Peter Sauber, it was clear that there would be a certain amount of pressure on the former world champion to raise his game.

However, according to the latest edition of Autosport magazine, the Swiss outfit has already begun talks with BAR tester Anthony Davidson.

In the wake of Sauber's comments, Villeneuve put the blame for his Melbourne performance down to poor tyre choice, whilst taking the opportunity to take a swipe at the media for negative reporting and generally 'shit stirring'.

If there is any truth to the magazine's claim, it would seem a rash move by Sauber.

First off, such talk will only inflame the situation, and put additional pressure on the Canadian, who still has a huge public following.

Furthermore, in addition to there being a question mark over Davidson's availability, there is also the issue of compensation. The Swiss team admits that it doesn't have the money to run a third car, so how would it pay off Villeneuve and also compensate the Brackley outfit for taking its test driver?

Source at both BAR and Sauber have rubbished the story, however, they refused to go on record.

At the very least it should ensure that Jacques ups his game in Sepang and that a few poison pen e-mails find their way to the Autosport offices… no doubt P Southern is already halfway through his.

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