Villeneuve eyes F1 return UPDATE #3 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has reunited with personal trainer Dr. Erwin Göllner in Austria as the French-Canadian hopes to secure a place on the Formula One grid and a return to the sport next year.
Having last raced in F1 for BMW before being replaced by Robert Kubica after the 2006 German Grand Prix, Villeneuve's career in the sport looked to be over as he concentrated on other commitments such as producing his own music. With the fire still burning for Jacques, however, he has been training hard just outside of Salzburg. "I found Erwin because I must be ready to drive as soon as possible," Villeneuve explained to French publication Rue Frontenac, now working again with the man who helped his fitness regime whilst driving for BMW. "He is providing the same routine as I had when I was in F1 before."
Having first departed the sport after leaving B.A.R at the end of the 2003 season, Villeneuve made an unexpected comeback to compete with Renault for the final three races of the 2004 championship. "It is a bit surprising but I am actually in better shape now than before driving for Renault," Jacques continued, "perhaps thanks to motocross or just because I began my training - but in any case, it's encouraging."
Laughing that training in a sauna is yet to happen - in order to simulate the temperatures of Bahrain, scene of next year's first race - Villeneuve stresses that no deal has yet been confirmed with a team. "There is nothing settled but I like the direction things are taking," he concluded. "Do you really think I'd come here to train if I didn't think I was in good shape?" GPUpdate
09/27/09 Jacques Villeneuve is close to securing a contract to return to Formula One with the new USF1 team in 2010, Germany's Sport Bild reported Wednesday. Villeneuve did not refer specifically to USF1 but told to the magazine: "It is true, I will return to Formula One."
08/29/09 (GMM) Jacques Villeneuve has admitted his talks about returning to formula one in 2010 are presently in a lull.
The 1997 world champion had been linked with the new USF1 outfit, but it is believed the team will instead appoint Alex Wurz to complement a young American rookie next year.
Villeneuve, 38, told the Montreal Gazette ahead of his NASCAR appearance in the Canadian city that the momentum of his recent efforts has stopped.
"I haven't had the time lately to make the phone calls and get back on it," said the French Canadian winner of 11 grands prix.
"It's not a daily thing. Every once in a while you go back at it to see where it's at. You have to show signs of being alive, that's the main thing."
Villeneuve's career has been linked throughout with his manager Craig Pollock, but the pair are no longer together.
"I don't really have a manager now. I kind of do everything on my own, the personal stuff and trying to keep my racing organized," he explained.05/24/09 (GMM) Jacques Villeneuve on Sunday confirmed rumors that he is not ruling out a return to formula one.
The 1997 world champion lost his BMW-Sauber seat in 2007 to Robert Kubica, and has since struggled to establish a new career in the world of NASCAR.
He was spotted by BBC commentator and former rival Martin Brundle on the Monaco grid, and asked about speculation that he had signaled returning to the arena of his 11 career wins as a real ambition.
"Seeing the slick tires, the cars look fun to drive, so yeah, I'm missing it a bit now," he said.
Brundle asked the 38-year-old French-Canadian if he travelled to the Principality for this year's race simply for fun, or with a more serious mission.
"That's a tough question isn't it?" Villeneuve answered, explaining that Monaco is "always the race to come to".
He added: "With all the chaos happening now in F1, you never know."
Villeneuve, however, has been out of F1 for nearly three years now, so Brundle asked if he believes he would be "fast and fit enough" to return.
"I haven't gone to TV (commentating) yet, so - yeah - I would be fit enough," he answered.
[Editor's Note: False. Won't happen. F1 has already put him out to pasture.]