The struggling Campos Meta 1 team has had a significant change of ownership with one of the partners, Jose Ramon Carabante, taking the majority shareholding. He has installed former Midland and Force India team principal Colin Kolles as team principal of the new team.
The move follows Campos’ abortive efforts to sell the team to A1GP boss Tony Teixeira.
Tonight Kolles issued a statement, announcing the development. It said that Kolles was tasked with making sure that “the team is fully operational and ready to make its Bahrain debut next month.”
Carabante said, “I would like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, who worked tremendously to support our efforts to keep the team viable. The whole rescue operation has been a race against time with the goal of always having the team run two competitive cars at the first Grand Prix of the F1 season in Bahrain. We have a lot of hard work still ahead of us but we are excited about making our F1 debut and looking forward to a competitive season.”
The move was described as a “rescue” and Kolles issued a bullish statement, “Over the next ten days we will review the entire operation, find the extra funding to ensure the team will make the first race in Bahrain, announce the line-up for 2010 in due time and make the operation viable under Jose Ramon Carabante’s new ownership.”
The team headquarters will remain in Spain. The move is good news for Bruno Senna, the only driver confirmed by Campos so far. He committed some time ago and has since seen other GP2 graduates land secure seats in F1. The car, designed and built for Campos by Dallara, has yet to be track tested and it will be a race against time to have the car ready for the start of the season. There is no word yet of whether the team might manage a shakedown or test before the first race. Either way, Bahrain and the fly-aways will be a very difficult public test for the team. But at least they will be racing.
Nor is there any word on whether the moves behind the scenes which brought this about will lead to an amalgamation of Campos and USF1, or at least the transfer of USF1′s driver Jose Maria Lopez to Campos.
Meanwhile Stefan GP is waiting in the wings for an opening on the entry list and for the FIA to grant it an entry.