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Villeneuve casts doubt on Sauber's F1 partnership with Audi

Villeneuve casts doubt on Sauber's F1 partnership with Audi
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Jacques Villeneuve has expressed reservations about Audi's upcoming Formula 1 venture with Sauber. The 1997 Formula 1 world champion, though an avid admirer of the German automaker from the VW group, has his concerns, despite recently ordering a uniquely tailored, vivid pink RS6.

Jacques Villeneuve has expressed reservations about Audi's upcoming Formula 1 venture with Sauber. The 1997 Formula 1 world champion, though an avid admirer of the German automaker from the VW group, has his concerns, despite recently ordering a uniquely tailored, vivid pink RS6.

However, Villeneuve's enthusiasm wanes when discussing Audi's decision to collaborate with the Swiss team Sauber. "Well, they're joining a team that hasn't been any good for so many years," Villeneuve told Sports Illustrated. "And you just can't invent know-how. It's something that you build over time."

Villeneuve, a former F1 champion with Williams, also raced for Sauber at the tail end of his career, during the times when the team operated independently in 2005 and then under BMW's works support in 2006.

He now casts doubt on whether Sauber's latest venture with Audi will prove to be more fruitful. "You can see it with Williams," he observed, "You know, they stay kind of good for a while, but you pay the price of pay drivers, of all that, and you pay it late."

"And then how are they (Audi) joining?" Villeneuve pondered. "Are they joining the same way Renault-Alpine joined just to be part of F1 and make some image or to actually be racers and try and go out and win. That, we don't know."

Villeneuve also reflects on Sauber's past challenges during their partnership with BMW, which abruptly ended their Formula 1 engagement after a lacklustre 2009 season, leaving Sauber struggling merely to remain viable.

"What's dangerous with constructors when they come in is they can easily in five minutes decide 'ok, we're gone, bye' - they leave and they don't care," he cautioned. "They're great for the sport, but they're also very dangerous in that respect."

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