Grid, Hockenheimring, 2016

Stefanovic reveals new 2019 team entry plan

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Will Wood

In the round-up: Zoran Stefanovic, the man behind the unrealised Stefan GP team, has spoken about his plans to enter an all-new Formula One team for 2019.

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Comment of the day

Approaching the midway point of the 2017 season, @npf1 has an interesting observation of the mid-table in the drivers’ championship.

11 Lance Stroll 18
11 Nico Hulkenberg 18
11 Romain Grosjean 18

Three very different seasons they’re having, funny to see them all on the same points total. Stroll had a horrendous start to the season and one really good result making up most of his 18 points, Grosjean has been steadily scoring points and getting better results, while Hulkenberg had been steadily scoring points and the last couple of races have not been so hot. Not sure in which position I’d rather be.

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46 comments on “Stefanovic reveals new 2019 team entry plan”

  1. If you were offered a seat for the rest of the season driving for one team, which one would you pick?

    1. Williams. They have the best car.

      1. I think you mean “best PU”

    2. Williams by a country mile. I don’t rate Massa up there with Grosjean and Hulkenberg yet he’s beating them, and despite a turnaround in his results it would just be plain insulting to rank Stroll level with them.

      Williams is still clearly the stronger package. At present, I don’t think Force India is within reach so the driver lineup isn’t hurting them yet, but if Torro Rosso sorts their act out they are in real trouble.

      1. @philipgb Exactly. Imagine Williams with Hulkenburg and Grosjean, they’d have double their points by now I reckon.

        1. @tonyyeb

          In theory, I suspect all things being equal Williams might even be beating Force India if they had two top tier drivers.

          In practice though without the budget brought by Massa and Stroll, I don’t think their car would be performing as well.

          Williams has got some really good people in place behind the scenes who it’s going to take a few years to start seeing the fruits of their labour. I understand why for the time being they are limping along with drivers who bring money to the table. When they have the prospect of fighting for 3rd I think they’ll be ready to field better drivers, but for now, it’s a wise choice to go with what they have.

    3. @sato113 Haas. Williams has been stagnant for a decade now, Renault might be or might be not ever be competitive in this engine formula, Haas looks the most promising. Granted I will be aiming to secure the contract for next year too :)

    4. Renault 100%, the works team. Do I get to stay there next year too?

  2. Is Ms Henry unaware of who it is that owns the Austrian GP circuit ?

  3. New Engine ? Budget Cap ? Choice of engines ? C’mon Marco, put it all together, we all know that a budget cap for engines produced by a major manufacturer would 1; be impossible to verify, and 2; an unattractive proposition. The only way to limit the cost of engines to the teams is for the FIA to impose a realistic price cap together with a mandate that insists engines must be supplied to any team that is prepared to pay for them. Obviously contracts must be for a full season and entered into sufficiently early to allow the engine builder to plan and implement an efficient production process.
    Okay, so it might end up like the Ford/Cosworth V8 years, were they so bad and didn’t an alternative arrive to spice up the racing ? Yes to both.
    Why would a manufacturer want to compete against their own engine ? Because they would still be winning with their name being part of the name of all the teams using their engine, remember how MB reminded us that it was their engine powering the winning Mclaren-Mercedes (assuming you are old enough), and they could use the old advertising line “x out of 12 F1 teams choose our engines”
    So if we must have a more equitable and economic F1 engine supply, and we still want F1 to be the pinnacle of motorsport development, there is really only one way to achieve it.

    1. It is hard to force manufacturers to sell their engines to anyone who wants them because the manufacturers do not have infinite manufacturing capacity. One engine manufacturer can maybe support 3 or 4 teams. And they make sure those 3 other teams are the ones that won’t challenge their own team for the wins. Ferrari and merc would be happier selling their engines at 0€ for teams like sauber and toro rosso to be used as paper weights than to sell those engines at 50 million per year for a team like mclaren or redbull.

      In the end it would be the best thing to happen for f1 if all engine manufacturers were outsiders only selling engines to teams. Much less politics getting in the way when choosing who can buy your engines or not. This would also mean getting rid of the hybrid engines which would improve the racing, improve the sound and make the cars faster. Make f1 race relevant instead of road relevant.

      1. @socksolid, I did highlight the word “realistic” relating to a price cap, and I did put forward reasons why manufacturers would still benefit from supplying a superior engine package both in publicity and R and D, and I am absolutely sure that the likes of MB-AMG, Ferrari, Renault etc. are more than able to build as many engines/PUs as F1 needs, they are certainly in a better position to do so than the independents ever have or will be. Getting rid of the manufacturers would only result in F1 becoming an irrelevant series of racing dinosaurs.

      2. @socksolid *takes out hungarian phrasebook* i will not buy this record, it is scratched.
        Man i’m tired of people whining louder than the engines ever did.
        Racing wasn’t better, the cars weren’t faster, if you want noise sit next to an airport, thank you very much.

  4. Someday when Marchionne is no longer employed in his current position, maybe he can test the waters as a motivational speaker.

    1. Or he could try DJing, I’m sure he’s a blast at parties.

      1. @faulty – Right, something like; “Get up and dance you laggards, or else!”

  5. It’s funny how Sky have been making up excuses for when Lewis doesn’t win. He’s always having an “off” weekend, he’s either not happy with weather or his seat wasn’t fluffed.

    I find this really annoying. They’ve resorted to this narrative a number of times this season.

    I mean Lewis has been branded as possibly the greatest driver of all time by the very same mob, but he is allowed to have off weekends? I don’t recall Schumacher having too many off days (aside from when he was driving into people and parking his car on corner exits) in his heyday. By the way, I am not a Schumacher a long shot.

    Stop making excuses, he wasn’t quick enough and it didn’t work out this weekend. Simple

    1. Marian Gri (@)
      10th July 2017, 11:51

      True, it’s really sad. But it’s not only HAM, they started to clean up BOT and bash VET even before it was decided that he didn’t jump the start and no further actions needed. Sky is quite a bad joke, unfortunately.

    2. I find it very hard to believe anyone is actually branding him as ‘possibly the greatest driver of all time.’

      1. Ben (@chookie6018)
        10th July 2017, 19:03

        No one is claiming him to be the greatest. However watching Sky’s broadcast you continuously hear him being refered to as “one of the greats”. I agree he is an incredible driver and possibly the best one lap specialist in the right conditions in the current field. But he’s not been the best of this era. Sky of course cater to a British audience and as such he is often heralded as “their own”. I understand it all and just think most non British viewers are so used to it they move on.

  6. We don’t want to do anything that would prejudice the fan.

    Where I live there is almost no awareness of F1, and that is because the races are broadcast in a way that discourages public viewing.

  7. Yosi (@yoshif8tures)
    10th July 2017, 4:22

    Unfortunately the in most countries now F1 is behind a paywall and isn’t available to the public. So I’m not sure how they’re going to get new fans.

    1. Also losing fans. I haven’t seen a race for a while. And many people I have spoken to at work couldn’t tell you what the current standings are.

      If it wasn’t for this site I would have lost interest.

      1. “If it wasn’t for this site I would have lost interest.”

        When I sit back and think about it, that’s very true for me as well. None of my friends watch anymore so without this site, I’d have no-one to talk to about F1 and I’d have given up by now.

        Most I know have given up with Sky Sports because of the cost and without being able to watch it easily, the casual fan-base has been destroyed. Ask a non-fanatic who drives for Haas and very few will know.

  8. I still think Ricciardo is a bit of a dark horse. The Red Bull to date has been slower than the Ferrari and Mercedes, but we are not even half way through the season yet.

    Renault think they have found .2 of a second that isn’t unreliable, and Mobil claim their new fuel brings at least a tenth per lap. I can see the rate of development being pretty strong too given this was a car that did not have much of Adrian Neweys input which is now getting his input on an ongoing basis. During the Vettel years from Singapore onwards the car would be in a league of its own and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens again this year given there is greater room for improvement compared to the top 2 teams.

    Two things that will assist this is reliability and teammates. One less retirement for Ricciardo would have him pretty close to Bottas, who many acknowledge as a title contender now, and Hamilton and Vettel have yet to have any sort of failure. Hopefully Renault (sorry, I mean TAG) are on top of things moving forwards. It will be interesting to see how Verstappen is used for the remainder of the season, given the points gap between the two Red Bulls is about the same as between Ricciardo and Vettel. If my 2nd paragraph has any merit to it I expect Verstappen to be taking the No.2/blocker role, especially when the Force India isn’t a threat to them in the WCC.

    As much as they have produced such a fast reliable car over recent years, it may come back to bite Mercedes in the backside this year. Having two cars in the running when Ferrari and to a lessor degree Red Bull have one car each in WDC contention means its very clear what side of the garage gets priority, and I expect that to the executed on the track in the pursuit of victory, but also holding up everyone else.

    1. @bamboo – nice comment. I’d be eager to see if/how Max takes to that tail gunner role 😊

      1. I think the bigger question is do Red Bull get behind Ricciardo moving forwards to assist the chance he does have, and make that very clear to Verstappen?

        Red Bulls justification at the 2010 British Grand Prix for taking the wing off Webbers car and putting in on Vettels was that Vettel was ahead on points. That was 115 points to 103, yet its currently Ricciardos 107 points to Verstappens 45.

        For the sake of this argument it would be stupid if it was Verstappen P1 and Ricciardo P2 at this weeks British GP (praying for rain) and they didn’t switch positions. On the basis that Vettel finishes P3 that would have Ricciardo just over two race wins behind half way into the season, in a car that should develop at a rate greater than its competitors.

        Using the above example, which is a tad extreme, having Ricciardo close to two wins behind the leader with ten races to go, bearing in mind that Raikkonen was near the same with only two races left in 2007 and still won, I believe Red Bull would be out of their mind not to have a clearly defined No.1 and No.2 driver for the rest of the season.

        1. Red Bulls’ justification for giving Vettel the wing was Webber not wanting it. Vettel broke his or it broke(can’t remember that detail). Webber preferred the old wing until it became clear that Vettel preferred the new wing.Webber had first option. Didn’t take it then complained about not having the choice afterwards.

          1. The basis behind it going to Vettel was the points standings:


          2. I am corrected. A relief.

    2. Marian Gri (@)
      10th July 2017, 12:06

      Let’s get things clear: Mercedes have only 1 driver in the WDC fight and that is LEWIS HAMILTON. Every race so far when HAM and BOT were following each other, BOT always made room for HAM, in 1 particular race… twice. The fact that BOT managed to get 2 wins is because HAM was too far behind and there was no chance to win them. Had HAM been right behind BOT, wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of 2002 Austrian GP finish again. So, BOT still being a title contender has nothing to do with Mercedes desire, plus there’s some sort of luck for BOT, especially at Baku, where HAM lost big points and BOT came from 17th to 2nd.

      1. Yeah I’d be pretty surprised if VB is a title contender but I guess time will tell. Unless VB outscores LH, and perhaps even SV very soon, as in over the next 2 or 3 races, the odds will simply not be on his side. The number of races remaining will soon start to dictate, if it hasn’t already, the math favouring SV and LH, even if that picture has changed slightly.

        But @bamboo I highly doubt DR is a dark horse title contender, such is his vast gap to SV, and it is largely on the bad luck Max has had that DR even finds himself where he is. Yes yes of course DR was there to capitalize, but realistically it should be Max where DR is, and all things being equal he could/should be ahead of where DR is now if it weren’t for his unreliability. But not just his unreliability, but where he has been performance wise relative to DR when he has been bitten by his gremlins. Ie. Max should truly be ahead of DR based strictly on better performance.

        It is looking like RBR will come third in the WCC. So I can’t really argue that Horner ‘needs’ both drivers advancing the team together and not so much acting as a rivalry than as a team, in order to secure a certain WCC spot. But I also don’t think they see either of their drivers as title contenders this season, and given Max’s bad luck combined with his stronger performances when he has been healthy, tells me that there is no way they are going to hang Max out to dry in favour of DR, and expect that to be fair or necessary or a good thing for a Max/ RBR relationship going forward. It will continue to be each man for himself with no favouritism and for advancing the team as best as they possibly can for the duration of the season.

  9. Do those photos really show those orange clad fans leaving early just because Max retired!? I find that attitude so strange! I feel that for most F1 fans, the live experience is so much bigger than simply supporting one driver or team. They have presumably travelled a fair distance, paid for seats to sit in the sunshine and watch the fastest cars on earth go past, and then leave before the race really gets going! I kinda hope these photos have been captioned out of context, otherwise the mind boggles!

    1. You can start to boggle, because those pictures are not out of context. I have read on Dutch sites from people that were there that indeed people left when Max retired. Real F1 fans….not.

    2. I’m guessing that they are trying to beat the traffic and are, indeed, there to cheer on their compatriot (there are a huge number of Verstappen fans in the Netherlands). However, with so many of them, I’m guessing they still found a fair bit of traffic…

      I think the best way to handle this effect is not to dismiss the Verstappen fans for leaving before the end. It is to try and make the race weekend experience so good that when they return home, they think, “Next year, we’ll stay for the whole thing… …and hope Max finishes in a good position”. Who knows – maybe the year after that they bring a friend and explain to them why it’s worth seeing the entire race with, “Well, there was that time a couple of years ago that I went home early and missed an exciting last few laps?”

    3. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
      10th July 2017, 13:25

      Some left, but the stand was still packed and cheered for the drivers when they finished.

  10. I used to poke fun at Zoran Stefanovic, but I’m slowly but surely getting impressed by his persistence.

    1. Robert McKay
      10th July 2017, 9:21

      Zoran Stefanovic sounds a bit “Bond villain”, but if he’s really serious then let’s get his team on the grid.

      If he was serious though why not just buy an existing team, or a failed team like Manor?

      1. Robert McKay, he has tried that in the past actually, attempting to buy the entry rights from Lola when their team went defunct in 1997.

        In the case of Manor Racing, the problem there is that the team was in a terrible financial state, not to mention the prospect of a protracted legal battle with Bianchi’s father (he did initiate legal proceedings against them).

        Furthermore, in that case the part that went bankrupt was the company that produced and raced the cars, which was Manor Racing – Manor Motorsport, the parent company, made sure that the entry rights, which was one of the few valuable assets the team had, resided with them instead. Even if you bought the assets of Manor Racing, you wouldn’t have any entry rights – that would require a separate deal with Manor Motorsport.

        Fernandes also operated a similar structure with the defunct Caterham team – the entry rights were held by a separate company from the race team, so even if you bought the part that was in administration, you still wouldn’t have had any entry rights.

  11. Zoran Stefanovic, the man behind the unrealised Stefan GP team, has spoken about his plans to enter an all-new Formula One team for 2019.

    Waiting for US F1….and for Ross Brawn’s visit to Brackley

    1. Don’t forget that guy who bought Lotus from Genie Capital but had a minor cash transfer issue that must have been fixed by now.

    2. Even if Zoran has the funds to make it work brilliantly, I suspect that the FIA will be reluctant to issue the relevant paperwork, given his attempts to get Stefan GP to circumvent the earlier refusal in 2010 (he shipped a lot of equipment to the first race in Bahrain and sent a car, but the regulations wouldn’t have allowed it in at that late point even if the FIA had been inclined to accept him)?

  12. Was Zoran Stefanovich also the guy who bought the Prost team chassis and tried to set up a Phoenix Grand Prix team? Didn’t they even go so far as to send Gaston Mazzacane to the next race? I remember Paul Stoddart having something to say about that.

    1. As far as I can tell, Zoran Stefanovich had no involvement in that scheme at all. It was Charles Nickerson – one of Walkinshaw’s business partners at Arrows – who created Phoenix Grand Prix, mainly as an failed attempt by the struggling TWR Group to keep Arrows going by claiming the TV rights revenue that was owed to Prost.

      It is correct that Gastón Mazzacane and Tarso Marques did go to Malaysia – along with about 50 personnel (mostly from Arrows’s test team) – and supposedly with two cars. However, FOM refused to acknowledge their entry, stating that they never bought the entry rights from Prost in the first place and, even if they had, their failure to enter the Australian GP would have voided their entry rights.

      Mind you, Nickerson has said that the cars were pretty lethal given how hurriedly they were thrown together – Walkinshaw reportedly said that all he wanted the cars to do was one slow lap so they would qualify as a participant that weekend, though Nickerson thought that was all they could have probably done – so it was probably just as well that the cars never raced.

  13. …Mercedes tweet… You did jump the start, the margin of error built into the system means you got away with it but doesn’t mean you didn’t jump the start, the footage shows that Bottas did jump the start. In Silverstone I’d position the car just on the beginning of my grid spot, guestimate the timing lights, hopefully not overtake the yellow line before the grid line and overtake 10 cars in the process.

    1. And most likely you’d be slapped with a 10-second stop-and-go and your race would be ruined.

      There’s simply no way to reliably cheat the start because the time the lights go out is random, the punishment is too big and the advantage too little.

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