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F1 NEWS 

Villeneuve admits F1 hopes now over

Jacques VilleneuveJacques Villeneuve has admitted he has given up on trying to get back into Formula 1 following the FIA's decision not to give his proposed team an entry for 2011.

The 1997 world champion had been pushing hard for a return to the F1 grid in recent years, and was lined up for a seat with the Stefan team had it been given an entry this year.

He then attempted to put together his own team in association with Italian former GP2 outfit Durango, but the FIA decided that none of the 2011 aspirants - including the Villeneuve project - met its criteria and that the grid would therefore stay at 24 cars.

Villeneuve does not think his proposed team could be revived for a future F1 bid having missed out this year, and has therefore called time on his attempts to get back into F1.

"It looks quite dim right now," Villeneuve told BBC Radio Five Live of his F1 hopes.

"We worked hard on it this year, to come back and build a team. That was the easiest way.

"But then it didn't work out, so I think it's time to not bother looking at F1 anymore.

"We had the budget to build a team and you can only hang on to that for a certain time, and then people get bored and move on to something else. It was a lot of work and we concentrated only on that.

"All the other stuff we're doing took to the backburner, like NASCAR. I think it's time to just focus on one thing."

The 38-year-old Canadian, who won 11 races for Williams in the first two years of his F1 career before having less successful stints with BAR and Sauber/BMW, has not raced in the world championship since losing his BMW seat to Robert Kubica in mid-2006.

Although he contested the V8 Supercar event in Surfers Paradise last weekend, Villeneuve said his priority was now to build a career in NASCAR, where he has competed occasionally since 2007.

"I've been working mainly on NASCAR, doing a few races, and it's been fun. Mostly on the road courses. They're fun cars," he said.

"Last week I was in Australia doing a V8 race and that was interesting, but right now my focus is on NASCAR."

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