It would seem that Jacques Villeneuve might have to resort to a ‘Plan B’ in the wake of his Durango/Villeneuve joint bid for the thirteenth vacant team slot failing to get the green light from the FIA.
And it would seem that ‘Plan B’ would be to buy into one of the established outfits on the grid, with press reports targeting either Virgin Racing or Hispania Racing as possible candidates for a takeover.
“The only way to enter F1 in 2011 is to buy an existing team,” Durango’s spokesman, Giuseppe Dorigo, told Radio Canada Sports.
“And as planned we will do it together with Jacques Villeneuve. Yes, we believe it’s worth it.
“Our only goal now is to be on the starting grid next year,” he added.
The notion itself is particularly interesting, although it would be almost commonsense to write off Virgin Racing as a possible buy-out straight away, given the considerable time and investment that both (Virgin owner) Sir Richard Branson and Manor Motorsport have each invested in getting this team off the ground.
HRT, however, seems like a more likely target, given that its more precarious financial position has been well-documented in the last months. The outfit might be looking to shore up its future – and its technical tie-in with Toyota for the use of its stillborn 2010 chassis and engines – with more third party investment.
The only other team that remains potentially keen to receive more investment is the Sauber squad. The Swiss outfit has been immersed in rumours of investment from Mexico and South America in the last weeks, and it has also been rumoured to have been approached by the Nicolas Todt-owned ART outfit as a potential investor. Its state-of-the-art facilities would render it technically the strongest of the three potential teams, but that would also come at a considerable price.
Furthermore, with the Durango group pulling the pin on its GP2 involvement in the 2010 season due to an evident lack of funding, one wonders where the cashflow would be coming from, aside from Jacques’ pockets of course!
[Original image via LAT]