Jacques Villeneuve has admitted that his efforts to establish a new Formula One team in 2011 may be shot down by the FIA. The 1997 world champion is collaborating with the Italian former GP2 team Durango for the final and 13th entry next year,...
Jacques Villeneuve has admitted that his efforts to establish a new Formula One team in 2011 may be shot down by the FIA.
The 1997 world champion is collaborating with the Italian former GP2 team Durango for the final and 13th entry next year, reportedly in competition with fellow hopefuls Epsilon Euskadi and Stefan GP.
In 2010, three new independent teams - Lotus, Virgin and HRT - similarly made their Grand Prix debuts.
"It's harder to be accepted this year because the FIA does not want the fiasco of 2009 to be repeated," French Canadian Villeneuve, 39, told La Presse whilst competing at the weekend's NASCAR event at Watkins Glen.
His "fiasco" comment was a reference to the stillborn USF1 project.
He said his plans for Villeneuve/Durango have been in motion for a year.
"We are working very hard without knowing actually what will happen," explained Villeneuve. "It is possible that our project is the best, but it is also possible that we will be rejected."
He said he is not worried that the president of the FIA today is Jean Todt, who in Villeneuve's championship year in 1997 headed the Ferrari team.
At that year's championship finale at Jerez, Villeneuve collided with Michael Schumacher's Ferrari, costing the Italian team not only the title but disqualification from the entire season.
"I have always been well with Jean Todt and I cannot imagine that the FIA's decision could be influenced by an old rivalry," he said.
"Anyway, Jean Todt is not going to be alone in this decision, I'm sure," added Villeneuve.
And he said the fact that he is simultaneously working on an F1 project whilst trying to establish a NASCAR career is no problem.
"Both sides seem unaware of what is happening on the other side, so it has no influence," said Villeneuve. "These are exciting projects and I have no reason to stop them."
In fact, he said keeping doors open in the US could help his European project.
"Three years ago, when I put F1 to the side, there were people interested in supporting me, but not on this side of the Atlantic," he said at Watkins Glen.