SportF1Villeneuve will test an Alpine F1 at Monza after...

Villeneuve will test an Alpine F1 at Monza after the Italian GP

It will be the first time the 51-year-old has been behind the wheel of a near-modern F1 car since his last race for BMW Sauber at Hockenheim in 2006.

The opportunity arose through his relationship with the Canal + television network, and is part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of his world championship title, which he achieved in a Renault-powered Williams in 1997.

Jaques Villeneuve drove for the Enstone team in the last three races of the 2004 season alongside current Alpine driver Alonso , taking two tenth places and one eleventh. He also worked with Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer back in his days at BAR Honda .

The A521 is the car with which Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon raced last season and which this year they have used for the development tests of young drivers Oscar Piastri and Jack Doohan.

“It happened through the link with Canal+. A French team and French television, and I won 25 years ago with a Renault engine,” Villeneuve told

“So that’s why. But it will be last year’s car at Monza and you can’t go out of tune, so it will be useful laps.”

“I contested three races with Fernando, so I have a past with that team, and [current sporting director] Alan Permane was my engineer.

“This is super, super exciting. It’s crazy. It will be good to understand what these cars can do as well. I’ve tried the simulator. Modern cars are not impressive at low speed, but they are incredible at high speed.”

“I just have to make sure I get a good seat. It’s going to be hell, because the G-forces are going to be incredible. The good thing is you have a long straight. So you can physically relax there.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Villeneuve acknowledged that the steering wheel controls are even more complicated now than when he last raced in F1 in 2006, but he’s not worried about it.

“Yeah, but everything becomes a habit. I’ve always been a gamer, not just racing games, and once you get into the habit, you can do anything.”

“When it’s not yet a habit is when it becomes difficult, when you have to start looking at the flyer and thinking ‘oh, what does it mean’, and you don’t have time. But when it becomes a habit, something natural, then it becomes easy”.

Villeneuve stressed that he remains an active driver: “I’ve never stopped wanting to do it. So my goal lately has been to get to NASCAR. After doing Daytona this year, that gave me the courage to try and do a full season. But right now I’m so busy with TV that it blocks everything else.”

Canal+ commentator Julien Febreau , an experienced pilot, will also have the chance to drive the A521 at Monza, while the team will also field this year’s A522 for a filming day .

Villeneuve and Febreau will prepare for their Monza test by testing a 2012 Lotus E20 ‘experience driving’ car at Paul Ricard this week.

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