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/