Villeneuve back in Europe as FIA considers 13th team
(GMM) After a stint working on his NASCAR plans, Jacques Villeneuve has returned this week to the other side of the Atlantic to focus on setting up his own F1 team.
While also trying to land a full-time seat in America's premier series, the 1997 world champion is collaborating with the Italian former GP2 outfit Durango in a bid to fill the 13th and final place on the 2011 formula one grid.
The French Canadian publication Rue Frontenac reports that Villeneuve, 39, is now in Europe where team officials will on Wednesday present their project to authorities in Geneva.
"I'm really proud of our bid," he is quoted as saying.
"We have no control over what the others will present and how our approach will be evaluated, but everything has been done according to the requirements of the FIA.
"We have cut no corners, we have done everything by the book. My partners have done an impeccable job," said Villeneuve, who was last on the F1 grid with BMW-Sauber in 2006.
It has been reported that Villeneuve/Durango is competing with two rivals for the 13th team entry -- Epsilon Euskadi and Stefan GP.
"We don't know how many people are presenting a dossier, let alone who they are and their seriousness," insisted the winner of 11 grands prix.
"Also, the FIA has not committed to having a thirteenth team if a project is not consistent with their requirements," said Villeneuve.
"If we do get the place, then the real stress will begin!" he added. "It will be difficult to be competitive in 2011, we know that, but we are not building a team only for one year."
Long-time McLaren team boss Ron Dennis commented: "The finances will decide everything.
"Everyone in the world of F1 hopes it works out -- it's always good to keep the sport's champions around. But I repeat that it will require extensive financial resources.
"This is not a sport for the faint of heart," added the Briton.