Yesterday we predicted that the FIA would issue two documents, an entry list and either an explanation of why Stefan GP was on it, or an announcement that there would be an entry bid process for 2011.
I indicated the latter was the most likely choice, and that’s exactly what has happened. In the face of strong pressure from Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt has – just five months into his job – taken the most conservative and arguably most logical option. And that is despite his own son having a vested interest in placing Pastor Maldonado in a testing role at Stefan.
The FIA’s explanation reads: “The USF1 Team have indicated that they will not be in a position to participate in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship. Having considered the various options, the FIA confirms that it is not possible for a replacement team to be entered for the Championship at this late stage. In the coming days the FIA will announce details of a new selection process to identify candidates to fill any vacancies existing at the start of the 2011 season.”
So what next for Stefan? The Toyota TF110 will be legal for next year and the team can in theory spend the year testing before showing up with a modified car for 2011, assuming it wins the entry of course. But it will need tyres and hard cash to go testing with…