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Villeneuve endures another tough WEC round in Portimao

Jacques Villeneuve suffered another poor race weekend in the World Endurance Championship, with the Canadian and his Floyd Vanwall Racing Team failing again to see the checkered flag in the series’ second round in Portimao.

Villeneuve is signed up for a full campaign in the WEC with the Austrian-German outfit managed by Colin Kolles, along with his teammates Tom Dillmann and Esteban Guerrieri.

But it’s a choice the 1997 F1 world champion may live to regret given the speed deficit and reliability issues impacting the Hypercar team.

In Sebring last month, a suspension failure put paid to Vanwall’s efforts, while a brake issue forced the team to retire its car after nearly five hours in Portimao.

Villeneuve reckons Vanwall is paying the price for the team’s lack of pre-season testing.

“Compared to most of our competitors, we have not been able to sufficiently test our car ahead of the season and we therefore suffer from technical issues which we have to fix during the race weekends,” Villeneuve explained.

“In Sebring, we had to deal with suspension failure which ended our race prematurely, and today in Portimao, I lost the front right brake entering Turn 10 with 1h20′ to go until the checkered flag.

“I was feeling the break pedal going longer a few laps before the failure and I therefore had to slow my lap times in order to manage as best as I could. Unfortunately, we could not finish the race.

  • Read also: Villeneuve returns to the WEC with Vanwall Hypercar

“This is of course frustrating because I feel that we have made slight progress during the weekend and we are all pushing hard to achieve good results.

“Obviously, this is still far from being sufficient and we have a lot of work to do.”

Adding to the wretched weekend, Villeneuve’s on-track struggles were compounded by an off-track problem in Portimao.

“Off the track, my entourage – and myself included – suffered from a stomach bug and this also took a toll on the weekend.

“We are now looking forward to the Spa race weekend in two weeks time. I think the circuit will suit our car better and I personally love this track.

“I am usually pretty quick there so I hope that we will come out of the weekend with more positive feelings.”

In Portimao, Toyota consolidated its leading position in the championship, with Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa steering their #8 entry to a second consecutive win this year in the WEC for the Japanese manufacturer.

Ferrari and Porsche Penske completed the podium in Portugal, a lap down on the winning Toyota.

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