D-Day for Stefan – will FIA grant US F1 a one-year delay?

Kazuki Nakajima seen at a recent seat fitting for Stefan in Cologne

With luck today we should finally get some news on the USF1 and Stefan GP situation. Our picture of Kazuki Nakajima having a recent seat fitting in the Stefan chassis (the tub is covered by protective padding) indicates that things have been moving along in Cologne, despite the team still lacking an entry.

The story took a step forward overnight when SpeedTV’s Bob Varsha – who has been a big supporter of the US F1 project – reported that the  American team has formally requested that its entry be deferred until 2011.

Varsha has good contacts at US F1, and it is a logical step. But the fact remains that the entry was granted for 2010, and given that other new teams have made it in the time available – and in the case of Lotus, in rather less time – the FIA may reserve the right to not look kindly on the request. US F1 would obviously have to provide clear proof that given another 12 months it will get its house in order.

Varsha suggested that the governing body has been receptive, and of course the team does have the support of FIA Vice-President Nick Craw, who has visited Charlotte on the FIA’s behalf.

However, Varsha also stated that Campos would not make the Bahrain grid, and that conclusion may be a little premature. The Dallaras are due to be loaded onto a plane next Sunday, and until that fails to happen Colin Kolles – who confirmed to me once again yesterday that he will be there – has to be given the benefit of the doubt. Kolles also says that the Cosworth engines would be fired up before the end of the week and we would know the driver line-up in a few days.

If the US F1 request is granted and it leaves Stefan GP on the sidelines then one imagines that we will soon hear a response from the Serbian team.

Perhaps the most logical scenario would be to open a 2011 entry and invite US F1, Stefan and anyone else make a bid. US F1 may well be able to demonstrate to the FIA that – given it has some sort of head start – it is in the best position to be on the grid next year.

Bob Varsha’s SpeedTV report can be found here: http://formula-one.speedtv.com/article/f1-usf1-asks-for-delay-until-2011/

12 Comments

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12 responses to “D-Day for Stefan – will FIA grant US F1 a one-year delay?

  1. jonas

    Surely the FIA are not going to let USF1 hang around like this for another year – the whole story is already ridiculous enough.

    While Stefan GP appear to rapidly becoming the people’s team (judging by the amount of positive comments I have read all over various f1 sites) USF1 are increasingly demonstrating the kind of corporate embarrassment F1 should really be trying to distance itself from at this time.

  2. elephino

    Tough one for the FIA.

    If they agree to defer US F1 until 2011, there’s probably slightly less embarrassment to them. But (and it’s a gigantic but) if US F1 don’t make the grid then, it’s a much larger embarrassment for the FIA than now.

  3. Prisoner Monkeys

    So let me get this straight … USF1 waste months and fritter away millions of dollars doing and building nothing. They then request permission to break the rules and show up in Spain without penalty, then ask to wait until 2011 – without waiting for a response to their first request – and again without penalties and wave a few million dollars under the FIA’s nose s if this make it alright.

    I think I’ve seen this epsiode of Keystone Kops.

  4. Chris jones

    2010 is set to see the oddest start to an F1 season in many a year! With less than 2 weeks to go we have two teams looking to turn up having not tested their cars, 1 being a team yet to have official entry!

    Mr Todt has a lot of work to do!!

  5. F1 Kitteh

    That’s a sound plan, I believe that with one solid year of toaster revenue in their pockets, they should be fully funded and ready to go in 2011.

    On a more serious note, I wonder what is the shareholding and management structure is at USF1. If it was upto me I’d give them a second look on the condition that the current management has to go, they’ve already used up the opportunity and time to prove their worth, or in this case negative worth.

  6. The whole situation is turning into a mess. The situation with Campos is understandable regarding the lack of finance. With USF1, it turns out to be total mismanagement. Chad Hurley must be kicking himself for backing such a losing horse. He’s clearly desperate to try to recoup some of him money his has already pumped into USF1. Where has that money done too? Regarding the Campos situation, I’m feeling sorry for Bruno Senna. Having already signed a deal to drive the Dallara chassis, it would appear that for the second year running, forces beyond his control are preventing him from making his F1 debut.

    • Uppili

      Your grammar seems to suggest that you are surely not a real personnel from Stefan GP but rather a sympathetic supporter of the team? 😉

      • Haha! My grammar isn’t the greatest at the best of times. A sympathetic supporter is the best way to put it I guess…

        Go Stefan GP!

  7. Richard

    I would take anything out of Bob Varsha’s mouth with a grain of salt. He is a USF1 puppet. Funny how he could provide press conferences or video that would promote how wonderful USF1 was but when the negative rumors persisted he provided no information except “Peter is a friend and he has asked for privacy”.

  8. Marko

    Very funny photo! Serbian three-finger salute! 🙂

  9. John

    I am ok with a deferred entry, say as ChadF1 and not USF1.

    I could see Chad possibly getting a major stake in the team, and then surrounding himself with people that can get the job done. Honestly, we have seen him lately doing just that, choosing to seek help from people that have a much better understanding of how to build a race shop. PW has a great understanding of the sport, but I doubt he is current on all the technical details, latest machining practices, carbon techniques, etc.

    Stefan is still interesting, the Toyota’s could be rather fast for a few races and then start falling back. I also worry that Stefan does not have a long-term plan truly worked out yet. Anything is possible in F1, and he could do well enough to attract enough money to get TMG to build some rather nice cars for 2011. Would they let him use the more powerful Cossie even? Interesting times.

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