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Jacques not returning, Kubica manager hints UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. See Hot News page for announcement.

“Last week, the team informed us of its decision to review its options for next year, including assessing Robert Kubica in a race environment at Hungary without offering me any assurance about my race seat beyond Hungary," Jacques Villeneuve said on his official website. "Therefore, the team and I agreed to part ways with immediate effect.

"This is really disappointing as I was looking forward to working with BMW on longer terms - going into next season capitalizing on our common experiences. I will now have more time to concentrate on future projects. Finally, I would like to thank the team, especially my engineers and the team's sponsors with whom I have had real pleasure working with in the last year."

Just what these options are not known at this time, however the Canadian press are adamant that their man will be racing in NASCAR next season, even if the NASCAR community are refusing to acknowledge the possible move.

08/03/06 (GMM) Jacques Villeneuve's future on the F1 grid, both in 2006 and for next year, hung in the balance as the grand prix world congregated in Budapest on Thursday.

The French Canadian veteran has been replaced by BMW-Sauber's flourishing test driver Robert Kubica, after team boss Mario Theissen explained in the paddock that 35-year-old Villeneuve suffered from a persistent 'headache' in the days following his shunt in Germany.

But this week's press release hinted that Jacques might not return to the controls of his race car this year.

21-year-old Kubica shod no light on the subject in a press conference.

''I don't know. You will have to ask Mario,'' reporters were told by Kubica, who is the first driver from Poland to race in the series.

He did suggest, though, that the Villeneuve affair was not contrived, by revealing that he only knew about his Hungarian opportunity an hour before the official announcement.

Theissen, meanwhile, said a decision about the rest of the season would be taken after Sunday's race, and replied to a question about whether Villeneuve was likely to return that there are 'no guarantees in life'.

08/02/06 (GMM) Robert Kubica is a 'sensation', according to the Polish press which has begun to leap onto the bandwagon as the 21-year-old is promoted into the BMW-Sauber race seat in Hungary.

Newspaper 'Zycie Warszawy' made the 'sensation' claim, but on Wednesday the former test driver's manager revved up speculation that the Budapest bombshell is the beginning of the end for the man he replaces, Jacques Villeneuve.

Although BMW carefully worded its press statement on Tuesday, manager Marcin Czachorski suggested to 'dpa' in an interview that 35-year-old Villeneuve will not be returning to the race berth.

''The most important thing is that BMW does not look outside of the team for a replacement for Villeneuve,'' he said.

Czachorski recalled the phone call from team chief Mario Theissen as 'like lightening from a cheerful sky'.

''The joy is enormous,'' he admitted, ''but we do not lose contact with reality.''
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