Campos, Kolles, USF1, Stefan – 11, 12 or 13 teams in Bahrain ?

Colin Kolles in his Force India days

Colin Kolles in his Force India days

It looks like the end of the F1 dream for Adrian Campos, at least for now. Jose Ramon Carabante (previously a shareholder in Campos Meta team) has taken full control of the team. Colin Kolles (Jordan, Midland, Spyker, Force India) has replaced Adrian Campos as a team prinicipal. Chavski is back… The other people on Kolles’ team are Mike Krack (ex-BMW) and Geoff Willis (Honda, Red Bull).


This reshuffle should be the first step on the way to bring 2 cars of the Spanish outfit to Bahrain. But they still have some work to do, especially finding the money to pay their most important suppliers – Dallara for the cars, Cosworth for the engines and Xtrac for gearboxes to name few.

Jose Ramon Carabante

Jose Ramon Carabante

The money issue is connected with the question of drivers line up. Kolles admitted they need pay drivers to help out with the budget. The only other thing said about drivers was that they will be announced in due course. No word on where this deal leaves Bruno Senna yet. One driver connected with Campos seat is Jose Maria Lopez, currently signed by USF1.

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If they manage to get all in place the plans are to operate initially from Dallara factory where the chassis should be ready by now. Sometime in the future they should move the operation to their Murcia base.

With only three weeks left before the first race and less than a week before the final pre-season test in Barcelona there is no time left for team to test before the start of new season. If they do make it at the end their first on track appearance may be the practice session in Bahrain, a scenario reminiscent of Super Aguri in 2007 …

It is unlikely that the team will keep the Campos name for too long. But whether they will be able to rename the team for the 2010 season remains to be seen. If it were that easy there would not be a team called BMW Sauber powered by Ferrari engines …

Meanwhile Stefan GP fired up their engines in their SF01 car (that is what was to be 2010 Toyota F1 car) on Friday and claim they are ready to test. The only thing missing in the test package are tyres. Bridgestone only provides F1 tyres to proper F1 teams so Stefan GP needs to look for some alternatives – GP2 tyres or some other alternative rubber. The boss Zoran Stefanovic confirmed they do have Kazuki Nakajima on board and are very close to finalizing deal with Jacques Villeneuve. What they still do not have is the F1 entry.

Since the Campos team is now clearly determined to race the only hope for Stefan is to make some sort of a deal with USF1 people. The easiest way would by buying the USF1 entry. With that being perhaps the only USF1 asset of some value it also may be the only tool for the people who invested money into the American F1 dream to get at least some of it back. It may cost Stefan more than if FIA simply grants it an entry. But that may not happen on time for 2010 season and there is no guarantee it would happen in the future. Just go and ask David Richards… At the end it can be the simple math – what costs more – having a team that can’t race or buying the entry from team that is not able to get a single car ready?

Update:
Ken Anderson of USF1 spoke to The New York Times. He revealed the team is talking to FIA about possibility to miss first four races of 2010 season …

“We’re working with the F.I.A. to clarify how many races we can miss. In an ideal world, we can miss the first four races and show up in Barcelona”

“I guess anything’s possible. But what would be the point of that? Why would they give us a franchise and just, the first time there’s a bump in the road, yank it and put it out of business? That’s definitely not the message that I’m getting from them. They want to help us, not shut us down.”

“We have a timeline in place that if we get a decision quickly, that triggers funding and we’re good to go. If it takes another week or two to make a decision, it keeps backing up.”

He also admitted that Jose Maria Lopez is weighing his options although he is still under contract with USF1.

Link to The New York Times article – here.

Photos: Force India F1, Campos Meta

One Comments Post a Comment
  1. It seems that the US F1 entry is all but falling apart, interesting option about buying them I guess it depends on whether Zoran Stefanović has been promised a spot if someone misses the first race. You wouldn’t want to have a purchase the team three races into the season.

    The FIA have said that missing a single race is breaching the agreement so it may be that we’ll see Stefan GP on the grid.

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