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Villeneuve 'working hard on F1 project' with Durango UPDATE #3 (GMM)  Italian racing team Durango on Saturday confirmed it is collaborating with Jacques Villeneuve in a bid to enter formula one in 2011.

In April, the former GP2 outfit, founded in 1980 and with experience in sports car and other forms of racing, announced it has lodged an application to fill the thirteenth spot on next year's F1 grid.

And this week, it emerged that 1997 world champion Villeneuve has formed 'Villeneuve Racing' and would possibly collaborate with Durango.

"I really hope together we will find a place," Durango owner Ivone Pinton confirmed on Saturday to the Italian website 422race.com.

"For Durango, to work with him (Villeneuve) is an honor and a privilege," added Pinton, who said he has known the 39-year-old French Canadian since he was 16.

There have been conflicting reports that, if approved by the FIA for the 13th 2011 entry, Villeneuve Racing/Durango might be based in Italy or England.

"We still don't know where the car would be built," Pinton admitted, "but the home of the team will be ours, in Italy."

It was earlier rumored that Durango is in talks with Toyota about acquiring the unraced 2010-specification TF110.

As for Villeneuve's role, Pinton confirmed the winner of 11 grands prix will drive the car and also "contribute" in other areas.  "I think he's preparing himself the job to do after he quits driving," he added.

Durango ran Villeneuve in the Speedcar series in 2009, and was also involved with Giancarlo Fisichella's GP2 team.

07/16/10 (GMM)  Jacques Villeneuve on Friday confirmed he is working on a "F1 project".  Earlier, the 1997 world champion and his spokeswoman declined to confirm reports he is bidding to return to the grid next year with 'Villeneuve Racing'.

"I've never made it a secret that I'm working hard on an F1 project," the 39-year-old French Canadian told BBC Sport.

"But I've not discussed the details or what my plans were and I won't be drawn on it now.  I'm not commenting," said Villeneuve.

And his manager Rick Gorne, involved in the establishment of Brackley based BAR in 1999, added: "There is an element of truth in the rumors.

"F1 is a possibility -- he does have the intention to get back.  It's a project we're working on."

The FIA did not comment on suggestions Villeneuve Racing is among three teams being considered for the last place in the 2011 pitlane.

07/16/10 (GMM)  Jacques Villeneuve and his spokeswoman have declined to confirm reports the 1997 world champion is bidding to return to F1 next year with his own team.

German reports said 'Villeneuve Racing', possibly involving Flavio Briatore, Pat Symonds and former Arrows and Super Aguri staff, is one of three remaining candidates to fill the final spot in the 2011 pitlane.

But French Canadian Villeneuve's spokeswoman would only tell the French language Canoe publication that the 39-year-old is "focusing his efforts on a return to NASCAR while also working on a return to F1".

And the French language source RDS said Villeneuve is not commenting on the Auto Motor und Sport report.

Meanwhile, the Canadian publication Rue Frontenac insists that crashgate conspirators Briatore and Symonds are not involved in the Villeneuve project.

Instead, the report said the winner of 11 grands prix is supported by the former GP2 team Durango for a potentially Italian-based F1 team.

Rue Frontenac, who said Villeneuve was not contactable on Thursday, also reported that he is set to return to NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup series next weekend at Indianapolis.

07/15/10 (GMM)  Jacques Villeneuve is reportedly bidding to return to formula one next year with his own team. Germany's authoritative Auto Motor und Sport magazine said 'Villeneuve Racing' is one of the three candidates for the 13th and final place in pitlane.

The 1997 world champion and now 39-year-old French Canadian wanted to return to the cockpit this year with Stefan GP, but the Serbian outfit was not granted an entry.

The report said almost ten candidates originally made applications to race next year, but now there are only three in the running; with Villeneuve Racing and Cypher Group among them. zzzz

Auto Motor und Sport said the third name could be Spain's Epsilon Euskadi or the former GP2 team Durango, after Nicolas Todt's ART failed at the hurdle proving finance for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

The magazine said Villeneuve Racing has cleared all the hurdles so far, including proving an existing infrastructure for a team based in England.

The report said it is rumored that Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds may be involved, as might be a crew made up of former Arrows and Super Aguri staff.

The FIA's decision about the 13th team is expected in late July.

Villeneuve last raced in F1 with BMW-Sauber in 2006, losing the seat to Robert Kubica mid-season.

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