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”

  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??

  20. Prisoner Monkeys
    2nd February 2010, 20:55

    I think Stefan is being a little over-optimistic in their analysis of two teams being up the proverbial creek. We know Campos are in strife, but USF1 has shown us more evidence of their car than anyone else. Virgin are launching today and Lotus have been fairly stable.

  21. Who are supplying them engines? Cozzie?

    1. Nevermind, I should read the article thoroughlly next time!

    2. They basically have rebadged Toyota engines

  22. There was talk o Fisi being loaned out to Sauber. Sauber didn’t go for it, but couldn’t Heidfeld be loaned to Stefan or USF1?
    Since there is a lack of testing, it would keep any reserve driver active. Win win situation.
    And what exactly is a loan out driver?
    Fisi loaned to Sauber makes sense because of the Ferrari engine but that’s all I can come up with.

    1. I think the concept of a driver “on loan,” so to speak, is that a team would get a discount from one of its suppliers if it ran a particular driver. For example, Sauber might have been persuaded to give Fisichella a race seat in exchange for a slightly lower bill for the Ferrari engines. Maybe Ferrari would even have paid Fisi’s salary.

      In the case of Heidfeld, if (as we are led to believe) he is now a Mercedes reserve driver, there would be no logical reason for him to be “loaned out” to any of the new teams as Merc are not supplying them with anything.

  23. So daft, but it would be hilarious to see them get to race. Do they even have a pit crew or anything?

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      3rd February 2010, 1:09

      They will.

  24. Had always wondered where Nakajima was up to.

  25. I think Campos-Meta is the team who is in trouble,probably someone knew that they are not participating that’s why Stefan is so eager to get his car on the grid.

  26. inc0mmunicado
    3rd February 2010, 2:52

    What if they do get on the grid? What if they do manage to get legit, superlicenced drivers? What if Toyota recalls their car for a faulty accelerator pedal design? lol, unless you happen to drive a recalled toyota.

    My point is, all this talk is really silly.

  27. No way Tony Texeira will be granted a buy-in to F1, with the mountain of money he allegedly owes Ferrari and Team USA.

    I found it interesting that Stefan GP could buy Dallara’s car because Campos were in payment default. When you have cash, you too can be king! Where does this guy get his funding from, anyone know??

  28. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing Stefan GP on the grid this year to be the 14th team, bearing in mind and wouldn’t hope to see the ‘belief’ of Stefan himself saying that 2 teams would be in trouble – my instinct tells me USF1 & Campos-Meta but I definitely hope not, we need 14 teams in F1 to make it merrier.

    Come on Bernie, save those teams!

  29. I think this is nothing short of awesome. If there is a fair chance at least one team won’t make it… why not try to push a little. If they meet all the requirements, it should be ‘a great story’ for formula one (which I believe is the correct marketing cathphrase in these type of situations)… but above all you have to admire the ambition and persistance.

    Besides, if they get in I won’t be surprised if they turn out to be the quickest of the new teams, considering they’ll be racing a car designed on a budget orders of magnitude larger than those of their direct competitors.

    I don’t think turning up at Bahrain without any security is a good idea, but I’d certainly welcome them if any of the teams drop out before it starts. I also think heidfeld is by far the best choice as a driver they could possibly want as a starting team. He’s experienced, boringly reliable and he’s got jack to do next year… that is unless he assumes Michael’s neck will go at some point. :)

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      3rd February 2010, 9:56

      They’re only sending non-essential gear. Basically, everything they don’t need for the test at Portimao.

  30. Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat has reported today that Campos Meta will not be taking part in F1 and Stefan GP will be taking their spot. Also speculation that Villeneuve could be one of the drivers

  31. What happens to Senna?

    i hope it’s US F1 on the line not Campos

    1. If Campos gose under USF1 grabs Senna :)

  32. According to Turun Sanomat Stefan GP has bought the rights to the F1 cars made by the Dallara factory and in that way stopping Campos from getting the F1 cars. Without any cars, Campos can’t take part in the season which means that Stefan GP would get the spot. Their drivers would be Nakajima and Villeneuve.
    I don’t know how true this is or not.

    Link to article (in Finnish)
    http://www.ts.fi/f1/uutiset/108569.html

    1. That is wicked, an in itself worthy of disqualification if true…

      why do i have the image that this Stephan GP is a front for the eastern european mob syndicate?

      1. Here’s a link to an article in English, it has a bit more information as well;
        http://www.autoweek.com/article/20100202/F1/100209977

  33. East Londoner
    3rd February 2010, 16:21

    What an evil *******! Come on Ecclestone, do something right (for once) and kick this evil sore loser away for Bahrain.

  34. Bernie actually has come out in support of Stefan GP…..and suggests Ralf Schumacher as their driver!

    http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/8107.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

    More power to Stefan GP I say. Let ’em race if Campos can’t pull it off.

    1. If Bernie somehow forces USF1 out of the sport (which I don’t see happening) I will never watch another F1 race for as long as he’s involved with the sport……

    2. BTW, despite having watched ESPN every day for much of my almost-24 years, I never knew they had a website devoted to F1. If they would pitch this the same way they promote their market-specific websites- ESPNDallas.com, ESPNChicago.com- maybe a few more of my countrymen here would turn onto F1.

      1. Isn’t it just F1-live.com re-skinned? They bought it last year, didn’t they?

        1. Yeah that’s true..I was really disappointed with the new site. I think F1-live had a better layout and they used to update with news much more often. It used to be one of my favorite sites but now it’s one of my least favorites.

  35. I strongly believe that USF1 will line up on the grid in Bahrain. Peter Windsor and co have been setting up their team for quite a while now and they are not a late entry to the show. They may be quiet but that doesn’t mean they are twiddling their thumbs.

    Also I don’t think that Stefan GP know less about F1 rules then some of the post authors above. Stefan has been in talks with Bernie and has his support. So if there has to be an option for them to race if they vow to have their equipment and team ready for Bahrain.

    1. I agree. I think Bernie just like to create drama and headlines….by opening his mouth

  36. Judging by the lack of sponsorship on the sauber, I wonder whether they should be added to the list of those teams in financial trouble…

  37. the Sri Lankan
    4th February 2010, 21:09

    all i want to see is that 2010 toyota car (in whatever disguise) racing on the track. i think naturally it will beat cars from campos, vigin, usf1, tororosso and force india.

    1. the Sri Lankan
      4th February 2010, 21:11

      also lets hope zoran is smart enough to sign two drivers with some skills to push that car and the team forwards. nakajima and ralf? thats a lost cause right there. hopefully bruno senna will have something to do with the team

      1. I don’t care if it’s campos or stefan I just want Bruno.

  38. I agree that as long as Bruno Senna is given his opportunity this year, it doesn’t concern me which new teams will be racing.

  39. Good luck to Stefan Gp. I do hope they can get there for the start in March.

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