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Villeneuve sees Stefan GP as 'great opportunity'

ESPNF1 Staff
February 19, 2010 « A glimmer of hope from US F1 | »
Jacques Villeneuve has been linked to Stefan GP © Sutton Images

Jacques Villeneuve's return to F1 with Stefan GP is looking more and more likely, after team owner Zoran Stefanovic claimed he was close to agreeing a contract with the 1997 champion.

Villeneuve has been tipped as a favourite to join Kazuki Nakajima at the team's upcoming test in the Algarve, but claims that his only knowledge of Stefan GP comes from reading news reports. The Serbian outfit is hoping to replace either US F1 or Campos if they fail to make the grid and has acquired Toyota's 2010 chassis, engines and technical support.

"We are very near to a contract with Jacques Villeneuve, and probably also with another driver as our reserve driver," Stefanovic told Autosport. "But the first one which will be with us is Kazuki Nakajima."

However, when Villeneuve was asked by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport how much he knew about the rumours, he answered: "As much as I have read. It is really difficult to keep track of what is happening. If they get a place in Formula One, that would be a great opportunity. As they are apparently supported by Bernie Ecclestone, you must assume that they will make it and take them seriously. With the equipment from Toyota, they could be the best new team."

Stefan GP fired up its car this week in Toyota's old factory in Cologne and has already started sending equipment to the opening race in the hope that it will be given an entry. Indian GP2 driver Karun Chandhok has also been linked to a drive.