Stefan GP believe two teams in trouble

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Zoran Stefanovic, right, with Toyota's Yoshiaki Kinoshita
Zoran Stefanovic, right, with Toyota's Yoshiaki Kinoshita

Zoran Stefanovic believes there are two entries which may fail to get on the grid in 2010.

The owner of potential F1 entrant Stefan GP told F1 Fanatic: “Our sources tell us two teams are having problems.”

His team is carrying on its preparations for the 2010 F1 season despite not having an entry to compete.

There have been rumours that the Campos Meta 1 and US F1 teams might not be ready in time for the start of the championship at Bahrain next month. With today’s announcements we know at least as much about Stefan GP’s plans as we do the other two teams.

Stefanovic added:

We are fully able to do this if we get the opportunity to. The only question is whether we will get to. We will have more to say very soon but we are concentrating on things other than PR at the moment.
Zoran Stefanovic

Stefan GP confirmed earlier today it plans to be at the Bahrain Grand Prix and will test at Portimao in Portugal on February 25th. It has acquired the car designed by Toyota for the 2010 season and a supply of its engines with support from Toyota Motorsport.

Stefanovic did not confirm rumours one of the teams’ drivers will be Kazuki Nakajima. But the team put out a statement earlier saying its first driver already had two years’ experience in F1, so Nakajima fits the bill, as well as being supported by Toyota.

Read more: Stefan GP to test two drivers in February

83 comments on “Stefan GP believe two teams in trouble”

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  1. He is desperate to get the spot if he’s taken on Nakajima

    1. Not neccesarily. Nakajima was terrible last year, and he probably isn’t quite quick enough for F1, but he was very much the second driver in Nico Rosberg’s team, and Williams aren’t known for supporting a driver low on confidence as Nakajima would have been.

      Also, amongst his mediocre drives he did put in a few good performances, eg GB and Turkey 2009, GB, Monaco and Singapore 2008. He was quite competitive in GP2, at least compared to the likes of Lopez, Buemi, Kobayashi etc.

      But most importantly he (presumably) has money and F1 experience… two things which all new F1 teams are desperate for these days.

      1. Yeah there are some good points, I was a bit flippant before.

        1. People forget Nakajima had a pretty good 2008 season with plenty of points finishes, I really expected him to progress in 2009 but it never happened for him. I think he showed enough to have another chance in F1.

          1. Nakajima came in the package deal with the Toyota chassis, engines and gearboxes. It’s not like Stefan had a choice, and they were probably quite happy to have at least one driver, so they could be taken a bit more seriously.

  2. Keith, you should have asked him what he plans to do about the Concorde Agreement provisions that prevent ragtag outfits like his from turning up at GPs on a whim.

    1. What can you say? Maybe no balls no glory? : )
      It would be a big let down for me if Bruno Senna’s team doesn’t make it. But only time can tell?

    2. As opposed, of course, to some of the ragtag outfits that have provisions under the Concorde Agreement but may not turn up.

  3. Has there been any confirmation of Tony Teixeira buying into or taking over Campos?
    I think Piquet Jr will do a better job than Nakajima…

    1. Piquet Jr. had actually been linked with Stefan GP. Apparently he didn’t think it would come to fruition, so he’s now concentrating on Nascar.

      1. From James Allen:
        “[Stefan GP] are pushing hard because they are aware that the sale of Campos to A1 GP boss Tony Teixeira is not being met with approval at the higher levels of the sport.”

        Apparently due to the millions owed to Ferrari by Teixeira.

        So it’s not altogether impossible. But seeing as the 3 no-show rule has apparently been confirmed, Campos/USF1 could leave it as late as the 16th April to arrive at a GP, delaying the decision over Stefan GP.

  4. I wonder if Heidfeld is taking any interest in the possibility of Stefan GP getting a grid slot. It would certainly be a better prospect than USF1 or Campos.

    You also have to wonder if Stefan isn’t ruffling too many feathers within FIA and FOM. He’s certainly not being quiet about wanting to be in F1, but he hired Mike Coughlan who is radioactive in F1 circles. He also seems to be trying his best at grabbing more headlines than USF1 and Campos.

    1. Heidfeld never seemed keen on new teams so I suppose it depends on how badly he wants to race

      1. oh and whether he believes Schumi will really race for three years

  5. Everything okay but we don’t want Nakajima. I think with Toyota’s support, Stefan GP could be the best of new teams. They should get entry soon.

  6. Have there been any signs that even if a team dropped out Stefan GP would be allowed to take part?

  7. Nakajima’s probably about as good a driver as they are likely to get.

    Maybe Grosjean could be the other driver, he still hasn’t announced anything for 2010 as far as i know.

  8. Imagine if the 2010 Toyota is as good as the 2009 Honda (which of course became Brawn). Brawn winning on their debut was impressive, but if Kazuki Nakajima and Nelson Piquet were to finish 1- 2 for Stefan GP at Bahrain… it would make the Brawn ‘fairytale’ look pathetic.

    Obviously that’s a bit of a daft prediction, there are way too many if’s and but’s… but it would be amazing!

    1. Haha, I’ve made the same point recently.

      ANYWAYS, are there any pictures of the new Toyota car?

    2. yeah but unlike honda, toyota weren’t focusing on next year’s car that much.

  9. I thought you had to BUILD your own car…

    1. Correct, unless you acquire a team that already had one built. Think Sauber-BMW

    2. No, look at Dallara making the cars for one of the new teams. You have to, however, own the intellectual property of the car – hence no customer cars.

  10. My favourite quote from their website news section:
    “P.S. Phil, pick up your jacket. ”

    Bizarre. :)

    1. Some awesomely bad translation too. think i’m gonna throw a CV their way, unfortunately im not from toyota so i dont get the “Slightly advantage if you are ex Toyota F1!”

  11. East Londoner
    2nd February 2010, 18:38

    Does Stefan realise that the days of new teams turning up at random, such as the late 1980’s and early 1990’s are long gone. I want to see Campos get to Bahrain, as I feel with their problems tehy could turn out to be the next Minardi, the team eeryone likes.

  12. at least put sato in the seat, so much more experience. not nakajima!

  13. he looks scary…

    1. Mouse_Nightshirt
      2nd February 2010, 19:03

      He looks Irish!

      Maybe he’s EJ in an alternate timeline. Sounds just like something Eddie would do in the early days.

  14. Boran Rzragovic
    2nd February 2010, 18:59

    Bourdais will be a great driver for us , his last monaco GP was fantastic…

  15. What happens if Campos and/or USF1 don’t make it to the grid at Bahrain? If they are ready for the next race in Australia, are they allowed to race?

    Also, if one of Campos/USF1 don’t get to Bahrain and Stefan is allowed to race, will the other team be chucked out?

    1. Stefan won’t be allowed to race. That much is certain.

      On USF1 and Campos, they are apparently being allowed three “no shows” during the season. So even if they don’t turn up to Bahrain, as long as they’ve got their act together by China they will be fine.

      1. I thought Stefan GP had some kind of standby status?

        1. Not at all. They are building a 2010 F1 car completely outside of the Concorde Agreement and with no realistic hope of being allowed to sign it (and hence, enter F1). If Campos or USF1 fail to make the grid then all that will happen is that Campos or USF1 will fail to make the grid. It will make no difference to Stefan GP’s status.

          Put it this way, occasionally bits of F1 cars will surface on eBay. If I bought enough individual parts to construct a real, working F1 car, that doesn’t mean I’d suddenly be allowed to turn up in Bahrain and race. That’s the same position, legally speaking, as Stefan GP are in. They are not an F1 team – they are just an organisation who happen to have a couple of F1 cars.

          1. Also, if I managed to build a working F1 car from bits gathered from eBay, I imagine it would run about as smoothly as the Cadillac in Johnny Cash’s song “One Piece at a Time.” Listen to it. :D

      2. I thought the 3 no-shows was a suggestion for 2011, not 2010. A no-show could be auf wiedersehen and the loss of the team racing fees.

        Tony Teixeira (A1GP fella) might have already bailed out Campos – good news for all us romantics who want to see the Senna name back in F1. USF1 though do seem to be less than forthcoming on their progress.

        I still want to see 26 cars at Bahrain. Good luck to all the new boys, but if Stefan GP (Zoran GP pleeease!!) is ready to step in, so much the better.

  16. Cool, didn’t know you could just turn up to Bahrain and race. I might fly over for the first racec and hire out a go-kart.

    1. You could but it have to be a V8 go-kart that ran Bridgestone F1 tyres that could fit a regulation plank on the bottom, carry enough fuel to last a 200 mile race and conform to the myriad of rules that govern F1 cars.

      1. How much kevlar would TommyB have to wear to pass the crash test anyone? Prolly important if he’s going to run a soapbox with a 850hp fizz box in the back ;)

      2. You don’t have to have enough fuel to last the distance. I think there might be a couple of teams that don’t carry the full load at Bahrain.

        1. TommyB, if you can say ‘for sure’ 10 times in an interview – you’re in !

  17. I’d like to see them on the grid.

  18. USF1 are looking surer and surer, though. And like serious buider-designers to boot. I would be very glad if they do well so that all the people who’ve laughed them of for months have to eat crow.

  19. No one is talking about senna?
    Maybe if Campos can’t make it and Stefan does, they could grab Senna and team him up with Nakajima??

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