Jacques Villeneuve has withdrawn himself from the rest of the World Endurance Championship season after he was dropped for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Villeneuve made his comeback to the top class of endurance racing for the first time since 2008, but it has not been easy sailing for the Canadian.
The Formula 1 World champion has only finished one of the opening three rounds of the championship, with a break failure at Portimão, and then he was involved in a crash with the#54 AF Corse Ferrari at Spa.
Furthermore, the round he did finish at Sebring involved Villeneuve finishing 30th overall after another crash.
Vanwall announced earlier this week Villeneuve would not be competing at Le Mans, and that they would replace former F1 star with IMSA Sportscar Championship race winner Tristan Vauteir.
This has left the Canadian unhappy:
“I am deeply disappointed to have learned of my replacement for the upcoming Le Mans 24hrs through a public announcement released by the Vanwall Racing Team ByKolles on May 25th, 2023.
“To date, I have not received any official communication from the team which is even more surprising given that I am still under contract to participate in the Le Mans 24hrs race.
“The timing of the release strangely coincided with my impending arrival at the hospital for the birth of our baby daughter, which had been planned for May 26th.”
The F1 champ also stated the birth of his baby daughter had not affected his dedication to the race:
“In fact, my preparation for the Le Mans 24hrs event was meticulous and well-organized. Considerable time and effort were dedicated to achieving peak physical and mental readiness for this extraordinary challenge that I was really looking forward to.”
Villeneuve has been left feeling disheartened by the decision:
“Following victories in the Indy500, Indycar, and the F1 Championship, the Le Mans 24hrs holds special significance for me. Consequently, I am deeply disheartened that the opportunity to participate has been unjustly and arbitrarily denied.”
With this Villeneuve has decided to withdraw himself from the rest of the championship:
“Under these circumstances, I have made the decision to abstain from participating in the remainder of the WEC season with Bykolles. Instead, I will redirect my focus and energies towards preparing for a more successful and professionally fulfilling 2024 racing season.”