The FIA has published an official entry list for the 2010 season, with ten days to go to the first race.
USF1 are not on the list, having asked the FIA for dispensation to miss the 2010 season and start in 2011. Meanwhile Campos is now officially rebranded HRT, an unfortunate set of initials, which does not mean Hormone Replacement Therapy, but in fact means Hispania Racing Team. How long it retains that name remains to be seen.
Bruno Senna is named on the official entry list and it is interesting that although HRT was allowed to rebrand before the list was published, they were not able to confirm their second driver in time. This seat is now the only one officially available in F1 and Karun Chandhok is understood to be close to it.
There is no entry for Stefan GP. Bernie Ecclestone has said that the FIA is conducting a business assessment into Stefan and could give the team the green light to race next week if it finds a positive financial basis for the team. However tonight the FIA said
“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.”
This may well offer other candidates the chance to enter, like Prodrive.
Time was too short. The freight must leave for Bahrain on Friday and the 747 cargo planes will leave from Heathrow (for UK based teams) and Milan Malpensa (for Mainland Europe teams).
It is interesting in passing to note how international the team entries have become. There are nine different team nationalities among the 12 teams. F1 has become like a World Cup of motorsport, the idea that A1 GP had. Despite being based in the UK, many teams will race under licences from other nations. Brawn which was UK registered, is now Mercedes, which will race under a German licence. Lotus is Malaysian, Red Bull is Austrian, Renault is French, Force India is Indian. Meanwhile HRT listed as Spanish for the moment.
Going further than that, McLaren has two British drivers, Mercedes two Germans and Ferrari, unusually in its history, has two latin drivers, while Renault has two Eastern European drivers. There is something there for fans to cheer, pretty much wherever the come from.
Virgin has the last two numbers in the series, 24 and 25. I was up at Wirth Research today in Bicester, from where the team is being run at the moment. I went around the whole operation and was looking into their reliability problems in testing and finding out about their vision for the car this season. I also got to check out a state of the art F1 simulator. I’ll post on the Wirth experience soon.