Bernie Ecclestone made some famous comments a couple weeks ago alluding to USF1 and Campos both not making the grid for the 2010 season. Further, Bernie was implicating that Stefan GP would probably take one of their places, making for 12 teams in 2010. Both Campos and USF1 promptly released statements assuring their fans and potential sponsors that they were viable.
But now, more details are coming out about both teams that lend credence to the ancient billionaire’s park bench mumblings. All the while continuing to cast further doubt on what exactly the highly trained FIA representatives were looking at when determining the most likely potential new teams for 2010.
Campos was in the news this weekend as reports from German website motorsport-total.com state that the team is searching for additional funding to enable them to compete this season. The website quotes an unnamed insider from the team.
“It is not a secret that we do not have the budget – and time is scarce. If we can find a good investor, we could sell part of the team to them. If necessary, we could sell the whole team, but the basic conditions would have to be right.”
Things may be pretty desperate at Campos, since the one name that the source divulges is looking at buying or buying into the team is South African A1GP Chairman Tony Teixeira. A1GP has missed the first 3 races of their 2009-2010 schedule due to the fact that they owe everybody involved with the series a truckload of cash. Chief among those creditors is Ferrari, which pretty much rules out the likelihood that the FIA would look to favorably on his involvement with any team.
Dallara is developing and building the Campos chassis, but work on that has slowed down dramatically due to the missed payments. About the only money that the team has to their name is the rent-a-ride cash brought by Bruno Senna. But one has to wonder how likely it is that Senna will get to show his abilities in F1 this year.
USF1’s fate looks to be in better hands with Peter Windsor, but there are still many troubling signs. It has become apparent that the team is looking for the two drivers who can pay the most cash for a chance to drive, given the rumors that a veritable nobody Jose Maria Lopez is chief among potential ride buyers.
A report from Italy’s Gazzetta Sportiva stated that USF1 asked the FIA for permission to miss the first four rounds of the 2010 season and make their debut at Catalunya after the flyaway races were over. This report was quickly refuted by the team.
As posted today here at Open Paddock, USF1 has released a video of their nosecone crash test that was performed in Britain.
While we may be disappointed with their driver selections, or lack thereof, USF1 is clearly moving in the right direction. Or maybe they are just running fast than Campos away from the bear that is Stefan Grand Prix.
Stefan GP has made it clear that they intend to run in F1. They have secured the Toyota F1 design for 2010 and have stated that they hope to make it to the grid in 2010 if someone backs out. If not though, they will test the car for the 2010 season and try to enter in 2011.