The former world champion won the title for Williams in 1997 before moving to the well-heeled BAR team until 2003.
F1's most competitive privateer team, then, was an unfeigned shock to the system for Canadian Villeneuve, who has struggled for pace in 2005.
''We have a lack of resources,'' the 34-year-old told his website. ''We have a great wind tunnel but we don't spend enough time in it.''
Cash strapped it might be, though, Villeneuve complimented Peter Sauber's team for using its cash wisely.
He conceded: ''It's a ... different approach but it would be good to keep this level of efficiency with more money.
''I've never worked with a team with this level of resources compared to the others.''