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Villeneuve ends WEC marketing campaign with Vanwall after being dropped for Le Mans

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The 1997 System 1 world champion defined in a press release issued on Wednesday that he had but to obtain any communication from the workforce relating to final week’s announcement that Tristan Vautier could be becoming a member of the Hypercar class squad in his place.

Villeneuve, 52, expressed disappointment with the previous ByKolles workforce’s choice to usher in Vautier to share the Vanwall-Gibson 680 Le Mans Hypercar with Tom Dillmann and Esteban Guerrieri on the double-points WEC spherical on 10/11 June and identified that he remained underneath contract with the workforce.

He concluded his communication by saying that he wouldn’t be returning to the workforce for any additional races this yr.

“So far, I’ve not obtained any official communication from the workforce, which is much more shocking on condition that I’m nonetheless underneath contract to take part within the Le Mans 24 Hours,” he mentioned.

“The timing of the discharge surprisingly coincided with my impending arrival on the hospital for the delivery of our child daughter, which had been deliberate for 26 Could [the day after the team’s announcement of Vautier].

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“ByKolles was nicely conscious of this private household occasion, rendering me unable to reply or deal with this sudden announcement.”

Villeneuve defined that his preparation for Le Mans “was meticulous and well-organised” and that appreciable effort and time had been devoted to attaining peck bodily and psychological readiness for this extraordinary problem”.

“Following victories within the Indy 500, Indycar [CART] and the F1 championship, the Le Mans 24 Hours holds particular significance for me,” he continued.

“Consequently, I’m deeply disheartened that the chance to take part has been unjustly and arbitrarily denied.

“Below these circumstances, I’ve made the choice to abstain from taking part within the the rest of the WEC season with Bykolles.

#4 Floyd Vanwall Racing Crew Vanwall Vandervell 680: Tom Dillmann, Esteban Guerrieri, Jacques Villeneuve

Photograph by: Eric Le Galliot

“As a substitute, I’ll redirect my focus and energies in the direction of making ready for a extra profitable and professionally fulfilling 2024 racing season.”

Vanwall workforce boss Colin Kolles has insisted that the choice to usher in a alternative for Le Mans was made with the total settlement of Villeneuve.

He instructed Autosport earlier this week that the reasoning for bringing in Vautier was twofold: an absence of mileage on the a part of Villeneuve within the Vanwall and a the approaching delivery of his newest little one.

He additionally advised that Villenueve remained in line to return to the Vanwall squad on the Monza WEC spherical in July, pending a last choice after Le Mans.

Autosport has since seen e-mail proof that claims that Villeneuve made the choice to give up the Vanwall programme forward of the announcement of Vautier.

The e-mail is dated after a three-day check at Monza for the 680 by which Villeneuve drove on the opening day earlier than his team-mates took over.

It was Villeneuve’s first correct check within the automotive, which he solely briefly sampled late final yr at Barcelona previous to the beginning of his season’s WEC at Sebring in March.

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