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Durango confirms bid for Villeneuve’s F1 return

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 honour 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 rumoured 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.