FIA announce new entry process for 2011

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…


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21 responses to “FIA announce new entry process for 2011

  1. Alex Yarnell

    Was a Toyota in all but name entered by a team that was previously turned down ever going to succeed in getting an entry. Maybe Stefan could do a deal with Anthony Hamilton’s F1 academy and get paid to test their cars for a year!

  2. I would think that Bridgestone would only supply tires to teams with a entry so I don’t see them testing on F1 rubber any time soon, maybe GP2 but even tho its the closest tire possible there will still not have a perfect setup and car and will need to adapt if it does a entry!


  3. jim

    “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.”

    Aren’t DD Diffusers gone next year? If so, they’d have to mod it big time. Good luck with all that…

    • That’s a good point, but the basics are legal, ie it’s got a big fuel tank and there won’t be too many other changes. The real problem is the general pace of development.

  4. Blaize Vincent

    If we can goto Bahrain with one team having not tested their car, then i dont see any reason whatsoever that the Stefan GP team shouldnt be allowed on the grid for a reason that states that no new team is capable of joining the grid at this time. They have a Car , They have Two Drivers in Kobayshi and Villeneuve (a former Champion), They had all the Finacial Backing in place for this season. And more than likely had a car capable of being in front all of the other newcomers on the grid (except Sauber).

    Makes me wonder just how much of an influence Ferrari’s Statement has had on the FIA (Jean Todt, a Ferrari man through and through).

    Once again the FIA has Failed the F1 fans, An Organisation that is so inept at doing the right thing. Its a joke!!

  5. Black Knight

    I suspect that after a serious financial review (giving the FIA the benefit of the doubt) Stefan came up lacking. Toronto Star reported that Toyota has not actually been paid for these chassis. That payment was to be made upon acceptance of Stefan by the FIA. The tires were not forthcoming for the same reason – they didn’t actually own the cars.

    • To be honest I have a feeling that the FIA knew which way the wind was blowing some time ago, and contrary to what we might think there wasn’t a great investigation of Stefan over the past week or so… I guess we may never know, unless Mr S tells us.

  6. 4u1e

    And that’s the damage caused by the FIA’s demonstrably feeble due diligence on the potential entrants. I can’t see any way USF1 can possibly have looked like a more realistic bet than Prodrive or Lola, who at least have both built high-level racing cars before.

    Stefanovitch, a man obviously comfortable with applying the force of law, is left with a case that a team that demonstrably has a car and drivers for this year has been excluded in favour of one that seems to have been built on spin and has not actually delivered.

    Ultimately his complaints about allowing in teams that don’t have the capacity to build a car won’t get him very far – because neither does he.

    Wouldn’t it have been great if the FIA had actually let in the strongest candidates and we could have seen, for example, Aston Martin or Lola back in F1?

  7. Having had empty grid slots for years ( a decade?) it seems churlish to deny any team the opportunity to go racing. Losing JV is salt in the true fan’s wound.

    So let Campos & Stefan rock up in their untested cars & try to qualify inside 107% of pole.

  8. F1 Kitteh

    Could EJ be wrong? His previous calls have looked dicey at times but in the end he came up with the goods…

  9. Tim

    The only possible way Stefan GP was getting on grid in 2010 is if a merger could have been worked with USF1. From what I can see, this was really their only option. Just letting them in to fill the grid would never have gone over with the teams that were bypassed for 2010. I can just imagine the amount of litigation that could arise. The FIA took the most conservative position in this situation. I’m still going to watch the races regardless of how many cars are on the grid. Way to many stories to follow this year.

    My 2 cents for what it’s worth.

    • Blaize Vincent

      I suppose the other applicants might have pursured action against the decision , but i still think the inclusion of Stefan GP on the grid would benefit the Sport and overall thats what matters.

      The FIA is Run with so many Politics that it create’s more headlines than most countries.

      Whilst i think that the non appointment of Stefan GP as the 13th team will not undermine the sport and the quality of the races this season, their inclusion would of benefited the quality and interest in the sport from fans. One more thing to talk about , one more team to watch.

      If Bernie’s evalualtion of Stefan GP’s Finacial Backing was to be believed , the team were in good sted to compete this season and while i dont always trust or agree with Bernie on many issues, when it comes to money he doesnt lie.

      We’ll have a great season without a doubt but i will still feel a little empty when we come to Bahrain to find only 12 teams on the grid, obviously this is more than what we’ve had for a very long time but for those first couple of races it’ll be nagging me that we wont have more.

      No Villeneuve is my real problem with this. Yes he’s past it but he is a Character and a man you always want to hear from during a race weekend.

      He is the sort of character we’ve lost since the departure of Montoya and Raikonnen.

      Anyway i’ve talked far too much.

      call this my 5 dollars worth lol

      • Tim

        JV, JPM, and KR . . . two world champions and one of the most colorful figures in NASCAR. That would definitely make F1 much more interresting. Drivers that aren’t afraid to speak their mind and be themselves definitely make the sport that much more interresting.

  10. John

    For now, I say let’s go racing!


    Here are some interesting things to ponder. How quickly will the FIA want new entries? Things have to move fast to give any new team a chance of getting things in place.

    USF1 have stated that they do have a bond placed, which is still interesting to me. The whole hush-hush part of it anyway.

    So if things move quickly, this will not be an advantage to Stefan who has no factory, questions remain on who owns the cars, companies are coming out and saying AMCO never did that, etc. This all looks bad actually. (I got off point though)

    How many teams can step forward today and say we have a factory, we are ready to bid for an entry?

    Pro-Drive – is he ready to be a constructor for example?

    The economic climate is still turbulent, maybe on the verge of getting worse again before it really starts to heal properly. If I were the FIA I would be thinking some sort of entry bond again (which oddly USF1 has done?), just to make sure the team is serious enough (double edge sword, takes money away from building a factory, but you get it back).

    So while the story is over for now, it will get very interesting yet again in just a few weeks. I just think the FIA is going to be keen to move quickly on this, and that could catch some hopeful teams off-guard.

    In other news, what does that Dallara look like?

    Bravo to Lotus and Virgin for sure, and I hope that leak is fixed.

    • elephino

      USF1 have offered a bond, not sure they’ve actually given a bond – unless all the new teams did so.

      David Richards was aiming for one of the 2010 spaces, even after the decision of no customer cars, so he’s prepared to step up. Whether he will or not remains to be seen.

      • John

        Well they offered the bond for 2011, well to defer the entry to 2011 that is. It seems like they actually paid it, but reading between the lines is the only way to make sense of the comments from USF1 right now.

  11. IanP

    Seems to me the FIA have made the right call. A team can’t be allowed to bully it’s way onto the grid when they failed in an earlier process – how would Lola and Prodrive react?

    Having now read what Ken Andersson has had to say, I don’t know what planet he’s from. USF1 had the longest time of all the new entrants, as they had indicated their intention to compete well before the bidding process. None of the politics that went on last year should have stopped them working on proper, detailed design work so construction could start as soon as they got the green light.

    If they had got on and built some cars then surely it would have been easier to convince sponsors, but as soon as they became reclusive and the negative (and now sadly proved to be true) stories surfaced, they were bound to fail.

    This is sad for F1, but we’ll still have more cars on the grid than we’ve had for years and the FIA can go about ensuring that the entry process for 2011 is clear, properly managed and that the new entrant(s) can be ready for next year.

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