Still no news on Stefan – but is Todt Jr keeping the FIA President informed?

Just nine days before the cars are due to undertake FIA technical checks in the Bahrain pits there is still no news on a possible slot for Stefan GP.

The written request by Chad Hurley and Ken Anderson to have US F1’s entry deferred until 2011 has made the picture a little clearer in terms of where the American team stands.

The three possible scenarios remain a) a last minute merger of US F1 and Stefan, b) a 2010 entry granted to Stefan GP but only with the permission of all the existing teams, and c) an entry bid process announced for 2011 for which Stefan, US F1 and any others could apply.

The last would seem to be a logical solution for the FIA, but will obviously leave Stefan in limbo with a car that is ready to run. And whatever the answer, the governing body will have to make sure that all possible legal ramifications have been examined.

One interesting aside to all this is GP2 star Pastor Maldonado. The Venezuelan is in talks with Stefan about the third driver role, and is said to have been at the Toyota factory this week.

Maldonado is managed by none other than Nicolas Todt, son of FIA President Jean. Last year he drove for Todt Jr’s ART GP2 team, finishing sixth in the championship.

One might conclude that having been in contact with the team Nicolas would be able to give his father some extra insight into what’s going on in Cologne, and thus help him to make a decision on what happens next…

Meanwhile reports in Spain say Campos Meta will be renamed Hispania Racing.

18 Comments

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18 responses to “Still no news on Stefan – but is Todt Jr keeping the FIA President informed?

  1. F1 Kitteh

    If the merger doesn’t go through, why not let Stefan race for now anyway ? I think fans would be okay with that, plus whats to guarantee that all grid slots will be filled in 2011 or that USF1 won’t throw in the towel for good before then? Maybe the problem will resolve itself so just cross that bridge when we come to it …

  2. Black Knight

    I suspect that the teams will not cooperate in allowing Stefan to race – they have little incentive to agree. That is unless Bernie delivers one.

    Choice “c” above has all the earmarks of an FIA style decision. Very little legal risk. At the end of the day, the USF1 slot remains open for 2010.

    My take on this state of affairs.

  3. ap

    I would have thought the information flow between the Todts would be in the other direction. Namely, jr. knows what steps to take with Stefan Gp because of inside information from papa.

  4. JK

    Adam……….What part does the F1 Commission play in all this? Max didn’t use it but if I remember right it was part of the war settlement last summer and Jean Todt may be employing it to “go by the book” as it were. They don’t meet until the Weds. before the race in Bahrain. Rule 13.7 gives them the power to censure teams.

    • That’s a good question, but as I understand it the Commission is not directly involved in any discussions going on right now. But the teams do have a say on a late entry.

  5. Based on a.n.other blog what do you think about Lada becomming a sponsor with Renault?

    • It’s an interesting development, especially as Putin was the man who told the media. Looks like Petrov is better connected than we thought! Things seem to be bubbling along in Russia and I guess that’s no bad thing. I assume that we will have a race there sooner rather than later…

      • The logics are in place. Renault “pull out” sell to a financer who keeps the name, recruit a Russian driver who as “links” to a company the previous owners have a 25% stake in …..

        Do I see more to this than meets the eye. I doubt it. F1 has always been full of “conspiracies” and that is from day 1 regardless of which date you wnat to sater at, the 1950’s or the “real” racers prior to then.

        It is these “conspiracies” that have made F1/GP racing what it is, if not what is it really? – As I said on my blog (about marketing) when trying to explain F1 to the non-interested “If you do not know that is 26 guys (sorry no ladies yet) driving an open wheeled car round a piece of tarmac for 2 hours as fast as they can.” Call me cynical or what.

        Anyhow is it time for the Lada jokes?

  6. I am f1 fan since time of great Didier Pironi!

    I am born in Belgrade Serbia.

    I live in Charlotte, NC USA

    Can somebody help me and tell me this will workout for Stefan GP and USF1 because I was hoping to have two teams I can pull for, it looks I will have none.

    Frustration is boiling over!

    • Looks like you are a little unlucky! If you are in Charlotte maybe you could head over to US F1 and let us know what’s going on there…

      • Floyd

        Not sure how true this report is but
        “Motorsport Total.com announced ‘exclusively the creation of the American Formula 1 team U.S. F1, exactly 391 days later, we may have to reveal that the project has finally failed. As we are assured of reliable sources, American F1 has now officially ceased operations… ” {More info on their website} [Translated from German using Google]

        I am kinda of skeptical because just a few days there were reports of the team willing to post a seven figure sum with the FIA to allow them to differ till next year. Hopefully we get answers soon.

  7. kristian

    Stefan’s problem is long term development and design. Unless they continue to rent time/space/development from Toyota (of which there has been no mention as it’s prohibitively expensive) their car will be the same at the end of the season as it was at the beginning. Lotus and Virgin will have made up the difference by then and the existing teams won’t even break a sweat passing ex-Toyota’s by the time we get back from the fly away races. That’s not even considering how they’ll simultaneously design a 2011 racer. That’s why they won’t be given an entry (unless they merge with USF1, which is also not happening). We can’t forget that they are touting a surrogate car as their own. They can’t expect to pick up the pieces of a failed F1 team every year and go racing although they’ve got spirit, however… “Hope makes for a good breakfast, but a poor supper. “

    • Nicko

      Well put.

      Without a demonstrable technical development capability and significant backers Stefan GP are unlikely to get the nod for 2010, especially if established teams have a say in it.

      Until these weaknesses are addressed their entry in subsequent years would lack credibility.

      The F1 commercial rights holders are attracted by large and emerging markets, so will look kindly on teams that help extend their reach. This favours something emerging from the ashes of USF1 over the Serbian project.

      On the other hand, the FIA may consider limiting the grid to 24 indefinitely.

      This could give time to wean the larger teams gradually onto more restricted budgets, the global economy should pick up and the technical regulations should stabilize. Such conditions would make an additional team easier to start and integrate into F1.

  8. kristian

    Good luck. 13 teams and 5 champions on the grid would be great if everyone brings a serious race team and cars that don’t fall apart. Speed will come with time.

  9. JK

    Adam…………The one point I never see mentioned in regards to the teams having a say on Stefan’s entry is the following section of the Sporting regulations.
    “13.5 All applications will be studied by the FIA and accepted or rejected, subject to the provisions of The 2009 Concorde Agreement. The FIA will publish the list of cars and drivers accepted together with their race numbers on or before 30 November of the year prior to the year to which the applications relate, having first notified unsuccessful applicants as set out in Article 13.1. Out-of-time applications will be considered separately.”
    The part about “out of time” seems to give the whole decision making right to the FIA provided there is an open slot.

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