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Can Jacques come back?

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F1 Mole | 10:47 UK time, Saturday, 20 June 2009

The dramatically changing landscape of Formula 1 makes anxious viewing for some at the moment, but there are those scanning the horizon for opportunities.

Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion, is at Silverstone to sniff out the lie of the land.

With eight of the sport's major teams announcing plans to set up a rival series and plenty of new teams vying to join the existing championship, the number of race seats for top-class drivers could potentially double.

Villeneuve's F1 career came to an abrupt end in 2006 when his contract with BMW Sauber was terminated halfway through the season. Is the time now ripe for a return?


"Possibly," the 38-year-old Canadian told The Mole. "Experience is always useful but right now experience is of more use because there is no in-season testing.

"The modern F1 racing looks very exciting and the cars would be fun to drive.

"It's very chaotic right now but that gives opportunities. That's why I'm here because it looks like there could be potential with all the movements in the sport."

Villeneuve won his world title with Williams in 1997 before joining BAR, Renault and Sauber, which became BMW Sauber in 2006.

A return to a top team may now be out of reach for the 38-year-old but he has not ruled out racing for one of F1's newcomers in 2010.

The sport's governing body the FIA have given 2010 entries to USF1, Campos Grand Prix and Manor and if a rival series goes ahead a host of other teams could be lining up on the grid of either championship.

"Who knows what the best way to go is right now?" said Villeneuve, the son of the legendary Ferrari F1 driver Gilles.

"The key is to see what is going on and work on some backing and sponsors.

"But I don't want to just run at the back and enjoy the ride - it's to try and achieve something that will get good.

"I want my two little sons to see me win something and not just look at pictures.

"It's still in my heart and in my head and I have my energy back. I feel like I was when I started racing again - willing to take risks. And that's what matters."

Whether F1 - or any rival series - will be willing to take a gamble on Villeneuve remains to be seen.


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