Disappointed former world champion Jacques Villeneuve has lamented Stefan GP's failure to secure an entry into the 2010 F1 World Championship, describing the team as 'very promising' and the car as having 'a lot of potential' – but recognising that 'there's still 2011'.
Stefan's plucky if occasionally somewhat less-than politically correct bid to join the fray in-place of the financially-stricken USF1 effort was definitively scuppered yesterday (Thursday), when the FIA published the full, final entry list for the forthcoming campaign – and the Zoran Stefanovic-led operation was not on there [see separate story – click here
The message from the sport's governing body was clear – if Stefan GP still wishes to become the first Serbian outfit in F1 history, it will need to apply again – and Villeneuve affirmed that after going to all the trouble of purchasing two ready-designed Toyota TF110 chassis' and engines from the big-budget Japanese manufacturer and being to all intents and purposes all dressed up but with nowhere to go, there would be 'no point' in simply ditching the project now.
“Of course it's disappointing,” the 38-year-old French-Canadian – who has not competed at the highest level for more than three years, but who was all-set to make a comeback by signing on the dotted line with Stefan had the squad only been admitted to the grand prix fold – told adamcooperf1.com
. “The car and team looked very promising, but we always knew there was a risk without having the entry, and it was running late – so it's not a full surprise, but it's still disappointing.
“There was a lot of potential with the car – it was built and it was a full-blown project. It wasn't something started from scratch, and it was going to be competitive. It's a shame, because it would have been a new team which could have run properly, but that's the way it is. It's been a long process, so there's no point to can it now. Who knows, there might be some driver changes during the year, as the teams are not all fully secure...and there's still 2011.”