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Villeneuve Racing will not be present on the 2011 starting grid, with Formula 1 governing body the FIA having stated on Wednesday that no 13th team has been accepted. However, the 1997 World Champion is cautiously optimistic that becoming part of a current outfit remains possible.
Villeneuve had placed a 2011 bid with Italian GP2 squad Durango although, with that having been declined along with a selection of other entries, the French-Canadian is now reverting to an alternative strategy.
“We will now go back to our original plan, which was our Plan B,” he explained to Canadian publication Rue Frontenac. “That's to say the takeover of one of the teams already in place; it'll enable us to further develop the solid structure we already have in place with investors who trust us.”
Furthermore, Jacques believes that as many as half of current F1 teams could be interested in a partnership although he also admits that no large risks will be taken.
“It will probably turn out to be a bit more expensive (than anticipated) but we don't want to be paired with any partners that we may not have chosen ourselves,” he explained. “It would mean that, because we already have contracts in place, it would interfere with our plans. For example, we have tremendous confidence in the designers of our car and we want to be able to use them, not just use an older design which was already in place.
“It's only been half an hour since I heard the news, so I haven't put together an agenda just yet. I now need to sit down with my partners and establish a good strategy. However, I am pleased that we have continued to work in NASCAR because things are going well, so we shouldn't just let go.”
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