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2017 F1

Villeneuve says ‘no’ to podium interview job

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Jacques Villeneuve says he has repeatedly turned down offers to conduct the post-race interviews on the F1 podium.

The 1997 world champion attends grands prix as a television pundit for Italian television.

But unlike other drivers who do the podium interviews, the 46-year-old Canadian says he is not officially retired.

“When you get this kind of request, you are a driver who no longer races — a ‘has-been’. But I’m not there yet. Not yet,” he told Le Journal de Montreal newspaper at Monza.

“I’ll leave it to the others.”

However, Villeneuve did accept a request to drive F1’s official two-seater ‘F1 Experiences’ car at Monza, with the programme run by Paul Stoddart and Mike Gascoyne.

“I agreed because it’s Monza — the temple of speed. It’s a circuit I’ve always loved and it’s so rich in history,” Villeneuve said.

He said he has not forgotten how to drive an F1 car at speed.

“No, you don’t lose it,” said the former Williams and Honda driver.

“You get to the first corner and know exactly what to do. I admit to having some nausea because my ears are no longer used to the acceleration.

“The engine is 880 horse power so it’s amazing, and the steering and the braking are very precise too — it’s great,” Villeneuve added.

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