How does Villeneuve Racing in F1 sound to you?

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If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

That just might be the team motto of the latest group to tender an entry for the 13th spot on next season’s Formula 1 grid: Villeneuve Racing.

Yes, as in Jacques Villeneuve, former F1 champ and current erstwhile F1 driver.

Here’s the news from the BBC:

Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve could return to Formula 1 as a team owner in 2011.

The 39-year-old has submitted an entry for Villeneuve Racing to become the 13th team next year and has cleared technical and financial checks.

Villeneuve told BBC Sport: “I’ve never made it a secret that I’m working hard on an F1 project.

“But I’ve not discussed the details or what my plans were and I won’t be drawn on it now. I’m not commenting.”

He would not reveal whether he planned to return as a driver, a team owner, or both.

[snip]

Villeneuve Racing are believed to be one of three outfits applying for the final vacant slot.

BBC Sport understands Villeneuve has cleared the FIA checks aimed at establishing whether his team are technically capable of building an F1 car and a scrutiny of their financial background.

Villeneuve’s manager Rick Gorne told BBC Sport: “There is an element of truth in the rumours.

“F1 is a possibility – he does have the intention to get back. It’s a project we’re working on.”

The BBC goes on to shoot down some other rumors. No, Flavio Briatore won’t be involved, the BBC says. No, it isn’t being established in England.

So, um… like, wow?*

Not sure there is too much to add initially, beyond tallying up F1B thoughts on this. The way the sport picks its teams seems so byzantine it is hard to determine which group would have the upper hand. Would Jacques be an asset or not? Should he be both owner and driver? (Do you think Michael Schumacher’s return would play into his decision. And speaking of Michael, would he have made a better team owner do you think?) Who else might be involved, do you suppose?

We’ll keep checking around to see how this story develops.

* Sorry, Grace took over for a second.

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