Thursday, 15 July 2010

Villeneuve set to make F1 return with new team?

Rumours are swirling that 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has applied to the FIA for the one remaining team slot on the Formula 1 grid with the name 'Villeneuve Racing'. The Canadian has made no secret of his desire to get back into the sport. He left BMW-Sauber during the 2006 season and has not raced since. He agreed to drive for Stefan GP before the start of this team but the Serbian team were not able to get an entry though they are believed to be bidding to get on the grid for next season.

The decision on who will get the place on the 2011 grid is expected soon. I would think word will come in the next month as prospective teams need to get the green light as to whether they should progress with their respective projects. The Cypher group have been confirmed as a contender and have a driver as well in Jonathan Summerton (More to come on them soon) Epilson Eskadi were one of the favourites last year and should be a strong contender this time. Stefan GP are bullish about making it though another likely prospect ART GP have withdrawn their entry, citing unfavourable economic conditions. It is believed that the FIA are wanting the financial credentials of any new teams checked and proven before the final decision after the problems and struggles of HRT this season.

Of course they are probably the one team that could fall out of the sport and thta would leave more spaces but lets see how it unfolds. For Villeneuve, would he really be so keen for an F1 return that he would make his own team? Well, his Father Giles wanted to form a team at some stage before his tragic death at Zolder in 1982 so the desire may be born out of that. He is somebody who has spent time in other fields apart from motorsport so he could have the links and contacts to attract sponsorship and partners to bolster the effort. Hopefully news will come soon and it will be interesting to see. Kimi Raikkonen may be set to continue rallying but we could yet have 5 world champions on the F1 grid next season

UPDATE: More details have emerged through the day about what the plans are with this project. Here is what appears to be happening if 'Villeneuve Racing' enters F1 in 2011.

- Villeneuve would be 1 of the 2 race drivers
- There would be a link up with ex-GP2 team Durango, who have worked with the Canadian in the past
- The team will be based in Italy, i also heard talk of being UK based but Italy seeme to be overriding this. Giles Villeneuve remains a massive name in the country after his career at Ferrari.

So there is some more information on what remains a developing story but an interesting one and one which will either fade away within weeks or become a big story for next season.


  1. Would love to see Villeneuve back but not sure that a new team is the best way forward.It could be BAR all over again. We were deprived of JV at his best.

  2. "We were deprived of JV at his best"

    Can't see him being competitive after all this time ... look at Schumi and he was a much better driver.

  3. He had options in 1999 but with his manager running the BAR operation he went there, almost out of loyalty.

    As you mention Saltire, Schumacher's unspectatular return after 3 years could put teams off hiring JV

  4. It would be interesting to see Villeneuve driving again if he gets an entry into 2011 but it is a wide open race to see who gets the last place on the gird for 2011? Is it true Connor, that another American F1 team has applied for 2011? We all know what happened with USF1

  5. Yes Matt, the USA entry is from the 'Cypher Group' They have already confirmed that Jonathan Summerton will be 1 of their drivers adn there has been links with the Piquet family who have ran a GP2 team and of course Nelosn who drove for Renault a couple of years ago. Will post about them more soon unless the announcement is soon and they miss out

  6. Hi. What was the German GP 1994 like? I just wanted to know also if Villeneuve did have a team it could like Fittipaldi all over again. Do you agree Connor?

  7. Are you from the UK? If so, check the BBC F1 website later this week as they will have highlights of the race in their classic F1 section, it usually goes up about Wednesday. Dramatic, incident packed race though.

    On Villeneuve, it just depends on the resources available. Durango were a decent GP2 team and they will want the Villeneuve name to bring the sponsors in to give them the finances to be competitive

  8. Hi Villeneuve looks set to have his team probably, were BAR expected to win a race in 1999? Connor.

  9. Wins weren't expected but points were. Their car was actually reasonably quick at some circuits but it was unreliability which cost them. Villeneuve didn't finish a race in the first half of the season and the team finished bottom of the constructors championship with no points so it was a big disappointment for them

  10. What is the most controvesial racing incident and race you have seen?

    Also you do think Hispania will ever score a point?

  11. What are the chances of rain for Germany this weekend will we get any on race day?

    Thanks for the blog, Connor

  12. @Davis Well 1997 was the first season i watched and Jerez was pretty incredible when Schumacher and Villeneuve collided and all the fallout from that

    @Anon Friday looks like being very wet, Saturday maybe and Sunday probably dry. Could change, early yet. I'll blog on Friday about the impact this could have on the weekend, along with other factors like the tyres. Cheers mate