All Formula 1 Circuits to Feature Chicane Named After Jacques Villeneuve - April 16th 2005
In a surprising twist, the FIA has revealed that all remaining race circuits on the 2005 calendar are to provisionally feature an additional chicane named after Sauber driver Jacques Villeneuve. The move comes as a surprise following a disappointing start in the 2005 season where so far the former World Champion has been outclassed by his team mate and has failed to win a point.
“To be honest, I was shocked when I heard the news,” F1 pundit Keith Wilson revealed. “I mean, to have just one chicane named after you is an honour – to have 2 is something only the legends achieve. But there are 16 races remaining on the calendar and to have that many chicanes named after you... well I didn't even think the likes of Senna or Schumacher could have achieved that.”
The FIA has stated it is not certain that all races will feature the new “Villeneuve-chicane” however they have let on that Peter Sauber is the person financing them:
“Really, it's just a case of how much money Peter Sauber is prepared to throw away on the project,” FIA President Max Mosley revealed, “I mean, I've been trying to promote cost saving in Formula 1 – especially for the poorer teams like Sauber – however if Peter Sauber is willing to throw away money in such an unwise investment that is unlikely to pay off then that is his discretion.”
Quite what Sauber's strategy is remains unclear. A chicane is where the cars a forced to make a tight turn around a narrowing section of the race track. They have been added to many of the faster circuits on the calendar in an effort to drive down speeds to increase safety. Some people believe that by adding an additional chicane on the race track Sauber can adapt the circuits to suit their car.
“It really is a gamble,” Chuck Hankham, a Technical Manager from a competing team commented, “It's not only costing Sauber a significant amount of money they could be investing in other areas – as well as paying for a rookie like they usually do – but it is also meaning they only have one car competing in each Grand Prix. As a gambler, that's halving your odds, as well as the money you are putting down.
“However, the unique feature of the Villeneuve chicane is that it is not static – in fact, the chicane named after Jacques Villeneuve will be slowing other drivers down at pretty much any part of the circuit they encounter it on. Who knows, with that in mind it could stand a better chance of paying off than any of us care to predict.”
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