Pit Stop

Jacques blasted

FORMULA One boss Bernie Ecclestone blasted Jacques Villeneuve, further spoiling the homecoming of the former world champion. 

Under fire for under performing this season, Villeneuve has been fighting rumours all week that his job with Sauber Petronas is in jeopardy. As he prepared on Friday for the Canadian Grand Prix, he was criticised by Ecclestone for allegedly wasting his talent. 

“If he was quick he would be good for this sport,'' Ecclestone told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his London office. “But he has lost his motivation. He is no good for himself and no good for anybody else anymore.'' 

Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion, missed all of last season when he was unable to land a ride following a disappointing five-year stint with BAR-Honda. It caused him to miss the Canadian GP last year, which is run in his hometown. 

Kimi fined

THE FIA on Friday fined driver Kimi Raikkonen US$5,000 (euro 4,100) for showing up late at a scheduled press conference. 

Raikkonen was 14 minutes late for Thursday's scheduled news conference, and the FIA was made aware of his tardiness by the press corps and immediately questioned him. 

“The competitor's representative and the driver admitted that they had inadvertently not left enough time for such exigencies (traffic) during the trip from the hotel,'' the FIA said in a statement. “It is to be appreciated that the same impediments existed for everyone present in the Press Room, and furthermore, Kimi Raikkonen is a driver that the media wished to speak to at this stage of the championship.'' 

Klien’s back

CHRISTIAN Klien is back in the seat for Red Bull Racing after sitting out four races while Vitantonio Liuzzi got his chance in the car. 

Klien is scheduled to compete in the next four races, and possibly two after that. He was pleased to be back in the car. 

“It was a bit of a difficult time for me, a bit frustrating to step back and to be third driver,'' he said. “But I knew in the beginning of the year that me and Vitantonio would share the car and that was the case for the last four races. I am really looking forward to it, I am happy to be in the car again and try to do a good job now.'' 

Klien competed in the first three races of the season, scoring two seventh-place finishes and failing to finish in Bahrain.  

Indian sees red

UNDER-fire Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan admitted yesterday that he has been angered by criticism from Jordan boss Colin Kolles and revealed the pair are barely speaking after a recent dispute. 

Kolles said on Friday that he was forced to have words with Karthikeyan after being disappointed by the rookie driver's performances at the last two races in Monaco and the Nurburgring. 

“I don't know what he is complaining about. The first five races I did well and you are bound to have some bad races,” said Karthikeyan. “Colin must also realise that this car is really bad to drive and it is easy to make mistakes, so they should try to improve the car also.  

“He doesn't speak to me very much any more, so that is a good thing. He thinks if he is very direct (in criticism) it helps, but sometimes it doesn't, so it's good and bad. – Agencies 

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