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Villeneuve pulls out of Japan's GP

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SUZUKA, Japan -- Japan's Takuma Sato will drive for BAR after Canadian Jacques Villeneuve decided he did not want to compete in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

Team chief David Richards said that Villeneuve's manager Craig Pollock had told him that the Canadian did not want to drive.

"I received a call from Craig Pollock informing me that Jacques wanted to be released from his contractual obligations," said Richards.

"I've agreed to this. If somebody doesn't want to drive, they don't want to drive and so Takuma will be driving on Sunday."

BAR announced earlier this week that Sato, the Honda-powered team's test driver who was fifth for Jordan on his home debut last year, would replace 1997 world champion Villeneuve in the team next season.

Villeneuve's appearance in the U.S. Grand Prix on September 28 may have been his last in Formula One because he has nothing lined up for next year and the top teams have no vacancies.

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