Former Formula 1 and IndyCar champion Jacques Villeneuve has admitted in an interview that he discussed the possibility of an IZOD IndyCar Series drive with Lotus last year, following Group Lotus' partnership agreement with KV Racing. However, he claims he was not interested, because he was focused on opportunities in either Formula 1 or NASCAR.
"It's true that we talked about IndyCar, but Takuma Sato had already been hired as their first driver and I was asked to bring some of the budget that my partners at the time wanted to invest for F1,” Villeneuve told Quebec newspaper Rue Frontenac. "It was not an option. And IndyCar and the Indy 500 – I've already done that. And that was before the separation, when the series was more competitive. If I have to bring a budget, it will be for a new challenge like NASCAR, not to go back to something I have already ticked off and achieved."
Villeneuve denied rumors that he had turned down F1 options with Lotus. "There was never any discussion of F1," Villeneuve said. "Everyone knows how hard I worked on my return to F1. If the only thing I needed to do was spend a year in IndyCar, I would have done it! The truth is that F1 only came into the plans of Lotus Cars in the last few months."