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Villeneuve reunites with trainer.

Jacques Villeneuve has moved to Austria, adn reunited with trainer Erwin Gollner, to ramp up his preparations for a potential 2010 return to F1.
Jacques Villeneuve has underlined his desire to return to Formula One next season by rehiring personal trainer Erwin Gollner to oversee his winter preparation programme.

The Canadian, who has not won a race in the top flight since claiming the 1997 world title at the second attempt and has missed the past three-and-a-half seasons since being usurped by Robert Kubica in the BMW-Sauber line-up, has long maintained that he is targeting a return in 2010, and has been a frequent visitor to grands prix throughout the year.

Reuniting with Austrian Gollner - who oversaw his fitness regime at BMW Sauber - Villeneuve has already begun training at a base just outside Salzburg as he continues to work on deals rumoured to include Lotus and fellow newcomer USF1

"I found Erwin because I must be ready to drive as soon as possible," Villeneuve told Canada's Rue Frontenac, "He is providing the same routine as I had when I was in F1 before. It is a bit surprising, but I am actually in better shape now than before driving for Renault [after being dropped by BAR in late 2004]. Perhaps that is thanks to motocross or just because I began my training but, in any case, it's encouraging."

Although the rumour mill continues to link him to USF1, as as close to an American as the Peter Windsor/Ken Anderson-owned team may get in its first season, Villeneuve insists that nothing has been signed that would see him back on the grid when the 2010 campaign kicks off in Bahrain next March.

"There is nothing settled, but I like the direction things are taking," he teased, "Do you really think I'd come here to train, leaving my family so far away, if I didn't think I was in with a chance?

"The training programme lasts 100 minutes and the longest pause I have lasts for five seconds - it is really, really brutal. Fortunately, Erwin has yet to subject me to training in the sauna [a regime he is renowned for] and, for the moment, I am preparing for some winter tests, therefore it will be cool. However, when the preparation for Bahrain begins, I know that there will be no escape!"

Villeneuve continues to be linked to the nascent USF1 project, especially as co-owner Anderson recently admitted that the team needed an experienced hand in at least on of its two cars. With rising US star Jonathan Summerton - long championed by Crash.net - being connected to a role with the team, Villeneuve and fellow veteran Pedro de la Rosa have emerged as possible contenders to spearhead the effort.

"The most important thing for us is to work with drivers who have F1 experience, simply because of the decrease in test days," Anderson told French magazine Auto Hebdo recently, "Pedro de la Rosa is on our list, as his F1 experience would be a major asset for us, but that list has about twelve names on it, [and] all are excellent drivers who could bring us a lot. To choose two or three of them will not be easy."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jacque Villeneuve (CAN), Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, 4-6th, April, 2008
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 1, Mika Salo (FIN), FIA Steward and Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
27.04.2017 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN) and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
27.04.2017 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN) and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
27.04.2017 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
27.04.2017 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN) and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
27.04.2017 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
27.04.2017 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
27.04.2017 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
13.04.2017 - Antti Kontsas (FIN) Personal Trainer of Sebastian Vettel (GER) (Centre)
08.04.2017 - Qualifying, Jacques Villeneuve (CAN), Federica Masolin, Sky and Davide Valsecchi (ITA), Sky TV
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 2, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Edoardo Bendinelli (ITA) Personal Trainer of Fernando Alonso
23.03.2017 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN) and Enrico Zanarini (ITA)
24.11.2016 - Davide Valsecchi (ITA), Sky TV, Federica Masolin, Sky and Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
12.11.2016 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Antti Kontsas (FIN) Personal Trainer
09.10.2016 - Race, Marc Gene (ESP), Test Driver Scuderia Ferrari, Federica Masolin, Sky and Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
08.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Mark Arnall, Personal Trainer for Kimi Raikkonen and Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal
04.09.2016 - Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)

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November 20, 2009 11:42 AM

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Alan D - Unregistered

November 20, 2009 11:28 AM

"Bernie should step in and stop the farce" Bernie steps in all too often already. He is the commercial rights holder. He has no business commenting on drivers and teams. He should remain strictly impartial.

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