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Stefan GP breathing down Campos’ neck
Stefan GP breathing down Campos’ neck
Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Feb 2010   |  7:44 pm GMT  |  135 comments

Stefan GP has announced that it has taken the extraordinary step of sending equipment out to Bahrain, the site of the first race of the season, even though it has not yet got an entry for the championship. It has its sights set on the entry currently held by Campos Meta. And Stefan GP have announced a test at Portimao at the end of February, with the likelihood that Toyota backed Kazuki Nakajima will drive the car.

Picture 43
“Stefan Grand Prix writes history! SGP becomes the first team in F1 history who did send a 40 foot container full of equipment to the race in Bahrain without having entry for 2010 season!” said a statement.

“On Friday 29th January we showed our spirit, and how serious our management and our employees are when they say that we are pushing to get the entry, and that they want to race in 2010 season.

“Anyway we are proud of us, and on our power of will, so we will keep going and show some new people belong in F1.”

Stefan GP has taken over the assets of Toyota’s F1 programme and the cars which the team had developed.

They have also made two interesting hirings; last year they recruited designer Mike Coughlan, who was at the heart of the McLaren spy scandal of 2007 and also former McLaren sporting director Dave Ryan, who was ousted last season following Lewis Hamilton’s episode of lying to the race stewards in Melbourne.

Notwithstanding the Melbourne episode, Ryan is one of the most experienced and respected figures in F1 with a pedigree stretching back to James Hunt’s days.

An experienced hand like Ryan will know the difficulties of getting freight out to early Grands Prix, something some of the other new teams are grappling with as they get up to speed on how F1 works.

They 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.

Some of the key staff from Toyota’s programme are still there including technical director Pascal Vasselon. Sources suggest that the cars should be quiet competitive, if given a chance to compete, particularly in qualifying, although the Toyota’s fuel consumption was not as competitive as the benchmark engines and so they may have to run slightly heavier fuel loads in races, if they get the chance to race.

That will depend on the proposed takeover of Campos. Some powerful figures are said to be unsure about it. Ferrari are owed several million euros and it is hard to see how they would approve of him making an entry without settling the debts.

The issue was discussed at yesterday’s F1 commission meeting.

Meanwhile it appears that the proposal for new teams to be allowed to have three ‘no-shows’ at Grands Prix has now been agreed. It appears that these can be taken at any time so it is theoretically possible for a new team to miss the first three races of the season and start at Shanghai on April 18th.

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AFter all that rigamarole and fuss about carefully vetting all the teams that wanted into F1 this shoot-from-the-hip deal with Stefan is just silly.

WTF is Bernie smoking??


I think Stefan GP actually seems a little sinister. They’re essentially hoping that one of the other teams goes bust. And they seem to be heaping pressure on them and intimidating them. Doesn’t seem particularly endearing to me. I personally think that the FIA’s actually done a fairly good job. In the ‘good old days’, F1 tended to have a few smaller teams lapping a few seconds slower than the others. It doesn’t damage F1’s credibility, another couple of hundred people have jobs, people get to see a race with a few more cars. F1 needs this sort of diversity, from the all-out tension of the front runners to the rising stars of the midfield to the charming minnows trying to finish the race. In my opinion, of course.


What amazes me about this whole business it that here we are, mere weeks from the beginning of the season, and Campos may not even have a car for the opening race. It baffles me why they were allowed into the 2010 F1 championship by the FIA, if their financial base was so weak! Surely the FIA had to have looked into the economic viability of teams such as Campos before excepting their entry into the championship?

If Stefan Gp have the cash behind them, and the techinical nouse, then they should be allowed as entrants in the place of Adrian Campo’s team.

Personally, I think that is exactly what is going to happen. Toyota, although not involved as a team anymore, will remain in F1 as an engine supplier to Stefan Gp, with Stefan Gp using the 2010 Toyota chassis as Brawn Gp did last year with the Honda chassis.

Atleast, that is what I am hoping will happen.


cool, looking forward to seeing their test in portugal, even if it is going to be just Nakajima going around on his own.

how about a forumla one division 2 in 2011 for more of these aspiring hopefuls?

The Kitchen Cynic

I wonder if there’s an old Prost nosecone or two in that container…?


Regards 2’nd paragraph and Stefan sending equipment to Behrain. In “1973” Mo Nunn sent our Ensign to the French GP after being denied entry. Patitioned French Court on Friday to halt qualifing. Pitition granted, Ensign entry was accepted.


Very cool, thanks for that insight


Any truth in the rumours that Stephan GP has bought the Campos Chassis from Dallara so they inherit their grid slot? (No cars, no grid slot i guess…)


Seems an odd move as SGP has Toyota’s chassis… would it be purely a blocking move?


Bruno Senna must be seriously worried about the Campos team. It would be a shame to see him miss out on a race drive this year if the team collapses, and even if they do compete, I can’t see them beating anybody apart from USF1, depending on which team has the quickest rentadrivers…If Stefan do get an entry and bring back Nakajima I would be disappointed. He didn’t show much speed over two seasons at Williams…would be nice to see teams choosing drivers based on talent not nationality or sponsors, but I guess there’s no choice sometimes. I can’t believe the FIA turned down Prodrive and chose Campos…


Nakajima is a Toyota man – that’s why he drove the Toyota powered Williams. My understanding is that he came as part of the package for Stefan GP to buy Toyota’s designs.

Interesting aside to this – as I have heard elsewhere – If they don’t make the 2010 grid, their cars will be free to test whenever they like. If a team decides to replace a driver mid-season, can you see them asking to borrow a car and some track time, to get them up to speed in an F1 car? Could be a nice earner!


You know I am all for the new teams coming in and bringing some personality to the proceedings, but I don’t think Stefan GP should be allowed to carry on like this. I would be disappointed if they got onto the grid just by gerrymandering!

F1 is a ruthless business, but behaving like the cuckoo in the nest and pushing out the weaker birds before they can fly is unpallatable to say the least.

I also find the thought of employing Coughlan and Ryan to manage the team to be in poor taste. What next, NPJ to drive? That is not the Brazilian F1 dynasty I want to see back on the grid.


There are rumours flying around the net at the moment that Campos is still behind with payments to Dallara and that Stefan GP are to step in an buy the intellectual rights to the car leaving Campos without a chassis.


Speed are reporting the same.

Can you enlighten us further James?


I am from South Africa, and Teixiera is bad news for F1!

lots of promises, not too much behind the words! A shark!


So if Stefan GP were actually handed a place on the grid for this season, does that make them one of the ‘new’ teams or one of the ‘old’ teams as they have taken over the Toyota engine and chassis?

If they are classed as a ‘new’ team, will Bernie make them rip out their Toyota engine and bung in a Cosworth before they are allowed to race?


I am arguing the toss on new teams..

my feeling is that Stefan would be a new team, as they have purchased the car, and be getting tech support from Toyota, however,they will be ruuning with new management, new staff, new factory..

I hate when people talked about Brawn as a new team.. what was new about it?? new name, same boss, same factory, same staff, Brawn was NEVER a new team, and Sauber is the same, they are NOT a new team.


I’ve got some tools and spare garage space if someone has flat deck. Are those arrows chassis still available.

Someone ring Super Aguri…

I think we’ve got a sporting chance against the teams who have been given enteries.

Aside from Lotus who really is the only serious entrant I think.



I dont know if anyone has mentioned this but if this all works out, as far as i am aware Schumacher will become the first F1 driver ever to race against father and son, as he raced against Satoru Nakajima in the 1991 Belgian GP.

Have i missed another time this has happend? Can anyone think of another example of this?


Speaking of no shows – what do you make of Virgin’s launch?


Must new teams still post a substantial bond with the FIA?

It’s hard to believe that the existence of some of the new participants is still up in the air – kind of makes a mockery of the whole selection process.

Especially when you consider some of the other contenders who pitched for a spot on the grid, e.g. Prodrive.

Hopefully it’s merely a case of one step backward, and then (eventually) 2 steps forward.

F1 could do without another batch of Mastercard Lola, Forti Corse and dare I say Andrea Moda.


Campos… Customer chassis that they can barely afford, customer engines that they can barely afford and a promising young driver who’s career they can destroy…

I think Campos could be a disasterous cock up of Andrea Moda Formula proportions!


If the FIA had played things straight up and selected teams that always have, are, and always will be ready to race (Prodrive and Lola come to mind), instead of forcing Cosworth engines down the throats of unworthy entrants, none of this would be happening.

Allowing three no-shows is about as bush league as things can get. How does the FIA get away with this stuff?



Remind me, what happened to Lola in 1997? Something like, they turned up in Austraila, failed to qualify, then promptly ran out of money and never turned up to race again.

Doesn’t strike me as a comany to be trusted in F1.


It pretty much killed the parent company off too for a few years

As I remember it, Mastercard wanted to launch an F1 Club, which would bring money in to which they would then supply the team. Therefore they pushed Lola to be ready to early… The car wasn’t even symetrical from what I recall! Then after failing to qualify (about 7 seconds off the pace I think) the club didn’t take off and Mastercard pulled the plug.

The first worrying sign should have been signing Ricardo Rosset as lead driver!

I really hope if Campos don’t make the grid, Stefan GP buy Senna’s contract


I’d like that too, but I think that it’s not an option. Toyota and Bernie have already pretty much chosen Kazuki Nakajima and Ralf Schumacher as StefanGP drivers if they’re to race at all.


Good point, Alex. That was a disaster for Lola and Mastercard. But Lola is an established outfit with a long history of successful racing…a better bet, I think, than any of the four teams that got in.


Re: alex

That wasn’t really the fault of Lola, that was mainly the bullying of their main sponsor, Mastercard. At the 11th hour (Nov 96) they demanded that Lola participate in the 97 season or they would cease funding. Lola was planning to enter in 1998.

Thus they had to design and build a car within a matter of months. And most of us know the rest.


What, Mosley’s FIA do it right? Are you crazy 🙂


James, I know this is off tangent for the thread, but I have read on that the teams have agreed to new rules for the diffusers for 2011, banning double diffusers and lowering the height of the diffuser from 175mm to 125mm.

I thought the idea was to make racing better by allowing cars to follow closer and therefore allow more overtaking, but I think that this new rule will make it harder for cars to follow..

The problem with the cars at the moment is still that too mouch of the grip is aerodynamic, and too much of that is produced by the upper surfaces of the car (Wings, bodywork) and that theses surfaces do not produce as much downforce in the dirty air when following another car.

Surely what they need to do is,

a: make tyres LARGER, therefore increasing the mechanical grip of tyre on road.

b: make wings SMALLER, decreasing the downforce produced by the upper surfaces of the car

c: make the cars flat bottomed again (ie early ’94 spec) with big diffusers, as the floor of the car is affected much less by the turbulence of following another car.

I believe GP2 cars have smaller wings, and flat bottoms, and race much more closely…


Nope – I wholeheartedly agree with this and would welcome its return.


This does raise isssues regarding a teams commitment to F1. Stefan GP may have a very amateur looking website, but they seem to have the car and the nous, which is probably what teams like Minardi had all those years ago.

But thing with Stefan is that with coughlan and that involved, and now the rumour of them buying up the Dallara chasis in order to force out Campos… I can’t help but envision Arthur Daley and Terry McCann in their garage!


This agreement that the new teams can miss races is pretty disgraceful. As someone who will be heading over to Melbourne for the race there, I feel like I will get short changed by potentially having 6 (or maybe even more!) less cars on the grid.

How can these teams be deemed fit to be in F1 if they cannot even make the first race?


Hi James,

Would it be possible for StefanGP to race in the races that the other entrants decide to skip?

If 3 other teams choose not to race then StefanGP could theoretically compete in 9 races.

It could make things interesting and really take F1 back to it’s early days.

And, regarding Ferrari and A1GP, didn’t Teixeira claim that Ferrari didn’t uphold a part of their agreement? I cannot remember exactly what but find it odd that Ferrari hasn’t taken more serious steps.


I really cannot see that. It’s so far away from where F1 has got to


Hmmm. Like I said the other day, pragmatism is taking over here.

I suspect that Forces within CVC proper (NOT Bernie himself, at least not willingly); Jean Todt; the teams; and track owners/promoters (in the newer venues, especially, and in new markets like Russia, that Bernie wants to crack) have concluded that they have to protect their investment. And they’ve apparently decided on the Big Grid, bigger than we’ve seen in the last 20 years, as the best way to do that.

With the three for free/bye system now in place, there will likely be a system put in place to keep the grid as full as possible when those byes are used. One way to do that would be via a reserve team (or teams), given a conditional entry that activates only when another team uses one of its three bye weeks.

Stefan GP appears to be in position to do that, but who else is prepared? Will Stefan be THE reserve team, the designated fill-in when another team uses a bye? Will Prodrive join them on a reserve list (a bit obvious perhaps, but they’re always nearby in these discussions), maybe if they’re given last year’s Toro Rosso to modify? What happens if more than one team uses a bye on a given week? Will the regular teams be required to have spare cars available at each round so that GP2 teams (who will be at the GP rounds anyway, and have proven that they can run at an international professional standard) can be called up as reserves as needed?

Will an FIA tender be issued for some (currently non-F1 participating) constructor to provide some spec/generic F1 car to take a standard spec Cosworth – a pool of cars and engines available for use at each race – ineligible for Constructors points, but permitting the grid to be filled, and allowing (maybe) for Driver’s points?

All of these possibilities go against the grain of Bernie’s philosophy and “the spirit of Formula 1.” Maybe so. But “the spirit of Formula 1” has changed often enough over the years.

In the Piranha Club, you have to adapt or die. Looks like they’re adapting. Or going off their rockers.


So if they’re shipping gear they must have drivers yes? Anyone know who they are?

Also, if Stefan does wait out the 2010 season testing, how is 2011 going to be any different?

Seems to me, they are going to need one of the existing teams to fold completely , no new owners to be found for it, before they’re able to enter. (baring an increase in grid size)


They say they have drivers, one already has 2 years experience in F1.

The talk is that as part of the deal to use the Toyota cars and engines, and all the data, the team had to sign Kazuki Nakajima


Gear? They say they have shipped a 40 foot container. How much gear is that?


I’ve heard they’ve made a 40 foot car so they can be at least a second slower and still get the nose across the line first.


Hello James, am I the only one who thinks that re-introducing something along the lines of the old 108% qualifying rule, would be a REALLY good idea?


Think you’l find it was 107% qualifying time from the pole sitter Stavros, But yeah with the number of teams now on the grid it seems a logical solution.

I really dont know what the crack is with this stefan G.P, or the FIA for that matter, or even campos. But if you ask me the smart money would be to grant Stefan G.P their grand prix entry as they seem quite seriuos about going racing, and i would severely reprimand Campos Meta and revoke their entry.

But this is the FIA we are talking about and we all know that common sense doesnt always prevail, until its too late and they think “well why didnt we do that then”?



I just wish they could have been allowed to enter as 14th team, then all this jostling would have been avoided.


James: Has the Stefan GP car even been crash tested and approved for racing? It seems like Stefan is run by a bunch of people who don’t know how the sport runs and think they can just race at the drop of a hat.

They aren’t signed to the Concorde Agreement, they haven’t paid any fees to the FIA or Bernie, and most importantly: they aren’t even granted a spot! Seems like they’re spending a lot of time and money on something that is far from secured.


I agree with that. They have experienced people on board, but do they really think they can just show up and race in the same manner that I walk into the neighborhood bar and order a beer?


That was my point.



“James: Has the Stefan GP car even been crash tested and approved for racing? It seems like Stefan is run by a bunch of people who don’t know how the sport runs and think they can just race at the drop of a hat.”

I think that is a little bit insulting? These guys are not idiots … speaking of which, in answer to your question:

Let me Google that for You:


It’s only insulting if you make it to be, which you are, Thyraeus. That’s why I asked if they had passed the official *FIA*, not *a* crash test. From your search results, “Car will undergo full FIA tests as scheduled by the end of January 2010.” – So, that would be a no. 😉


James – the link I sent (still gets a result) but was wrong…can you pls amend to:



Don’t think you can describe Dave Ryan as someone who doesn’t know how the sport runs. He knows it better than anyone


I don’t understand why are new teams allowed to skip 3 races if there is already 5th team who is fully prepared to hit the track.

It also shows how flawed FIA selection process was.

If Stefan GP can secure funding and build a car while not even having a spot on the grid, I can’t see how FIA managed to pick Campos who is struggling with funding even thou it has a place on the grid confirmed.

And this 3 race miss rule is absolute travesty!

Highest level of motor sport should have competitors who can at least show up at every race.

F1 shoots itself in the foot again. (or maybe FIA shoots F1 in the foot again?)


Mosley’s legacy 🙂 Thank heavens he’s no more (well at least not visible).


Well if they do get in to f1 they will have to seriously re do their website! I don’t think I’ve seen such a terrible grasp of the English language!


Have you never tried to read the Ferrari website in English?


It’s not what you know, but….


I don’t see the FIA letting any team miss a race. I am not going to believe it until I see a news release from FIA/F1/FOTA. By missing a race, you are basically breaking the Concord Agreement that deals with all the money that comes from the TV rights/viewing.


Mr. Stefanović is very smart man and one hell of an engineer too. He very much knows what he’s doing when hiring those people. That aside, i don’t think there are that many Serbs in the team.

Oh, and I assure you, He’d never hire a guy like Flavio, but could maybe find Symonds useful? No?


I would like to see them make the grid. I think a Toyota package would be pretty decent for a new team.

Sounds like they have some experienced players coming in.

do you know any info about the 2010 Toyota, which we have to assume is finished?


Let’s have 14 teams. How good would that be?!


Bad for garage space


I thought before Toyota split we were headed for 14 teams.

Surely garage space isn’t the issue is it?

Sharing the spoils from FOM is all that is really stopping Stefan being allowed to run I reckon.


Garage space is a major issue at some circuits, especially Monaco, but even at other permanent circuits


No the teams didn’t agree to let Sauber back in, because of pit lane space, and probably because also at the time their owners were the mysterious Quadbak investment group that did so well with Notts County.

There was even hassle for Sauber getting the entry when Toyota pulled out, as to whether they had to sell the team, as they had signed the Concorde Agreement.

I think a 28 car grid would be too many, The most it has been for years is 26, with qualifying whittling down the numbers.

But I think Stefan GP should be given a chance. I want Campos in F1 though, just so Bruno Senna gets his break, after all, if Honda hadn’t pulled out, he’d have probably had a drive in 2009


the last teams could set a tent


You have to give them a spot just for there spirit.


I won’t be surprised if they get to the grid in Bahrain.


“Stefan Grand Prix writes history! SGP becomes the first team in F1 history who did send a 40 foot container full of equipment to the race in Bahrain without having entry for 2010 season!”

Obviously forgot about the Pheonix effort from 2002 who turned by at Sepang having brought the Prost Gp team yet were turned away because they hadn’t got an entry.


Actually F1 Dave, it clearly says they’re the first team to do it in 2010. Seems like you forgot to read the whole press release.


Obviously forgot the importance of drafting a readable press release, too. The entire website reads like its a Borat-style joke.


I thought Todt was going to get us away from the ‘dodgyiness’ of F1 and then they let these clowns send stuff to Bahrain!What do FOTA have to say about this?Surely this is affecting their members?And if the three race ‘no show’ is a goer then its pointless Stefan going to Bahrain anyway!


He’s got to cut the Mosley strings first 😆


You’re are so right!


The more the merrier is what I say, and especially since the car they have is likely to be fairly competitive. It’s not going to be great if all the new teams are running 2 seconds off the pace.


Did FOTA have to agree to the “three race absence” rule?

Of all the rule changes and politics, this is the only one I really have a firm view either way on. It’s ridiculous. The pinnacle of motorsport should never be for part-time racers.

1. Surely it gives them an engine advantage over the year, meaning they could be artificially strong at the back end?

2. If they’re given a grid penalty or race ban, can they play the “get out of race free” card and miss the penalty impact?

3. How does this affect sponsorship when the sponsor doesn’t know which market his logo will appear in?

4. Does it mean teams could just give up at the end of the year if their constructor’s position is unassailable/unchangeable and stay at home to focus on the 2011 car?

This doesn’t smell like F1 to me… and you know what they say about if it smells like something, it usually is….


I agree it’s very odd. Totally opposite to what Bernie has been striving for years to achieve


Doesn’t this just show us how good Mosley’s selection process was ❓

Does anyone think Prodrive would have been trouble ❓

Oh how I wish FOTA had gone their own way, I reckon both BMW and Toyota would still be with us if they had ❗


I don’t agree about the breakaway, but I can’t help feeling that Prodrive would have been there no matter what.

The selection process was poor.

What I can’t understand is that these new teams signed up to a budget cap of 40 million euros. If they were able to operate for that, and they signed up to the championship, why is there any question over their involvement? If they have the money, then go racing.


A very bold move by Stefan GP there… It would be ridiculous if the new teams get to miss 3 races…

Imagine the new teams holding onto their entry spots and yet, not appearing in Bahrain while Stefan GP are all ready to race but faces a locked door…

It seems the entry approval process is really starting to show its flaws. I recall during the N.Technology application for a legal bid against the FIA, it was said that “The FIA’s selection procedure involved a thorough due diligence process on all applications with the assistance of financial auditors Deloitte & Touche and other technical experts”

I question if that was a real reason or just a legitimate excuse…

Anyway, if any of the new entry folds… I assume the auditing firm involved (or even the FIA) could potentially counter more legal issues… but I guess I’m going off topic now am I…?


This is what I hate about F1 James. You have Campos Meta who aren’t testing and saying stupid things like “Bahrain will be our first test” and the FIA saying, “yeah it’s okay, don’t turn up to 3 races this year” (lets hope all the teams don’t decide not to turn up at once, Indy all over again). Then on the other side you have a team who is well funded, took the right option to buy Toyota’s car, are sending all their kit in the hope they can race and have said if not, “don’t worry we’ll test all year and enter in 2011”.

I can’t imagine David Richards would have had these issues either… If the grid is not full in Bahrain it will be 100% the FIA’s fault.

P.S. Love the tweet site, however you need a button on this site to navigate to it though, so it’s nice and simple for (simple) users – similar to the one on the tweet site taking you to JAonF1.


I overlooked that too – it’s a bit out of the way down the right hand side of the screen; perhaps it’d be better to have another link with the others at the top


Well funded? How is Stefan GP well funded?


I don’t know – but clearly they are. They have bought Toyota’s designs, taken on staff, built the car, crash tested it, launched the team, booked the first test session and sent all their kit to Bahrain, in the hope they will get to race!

What exactly have Campos Meta done – oh yeah hired Ayrton’s Nephew.

I think the fact we have new teams not testing and are even considering turning up to the first round of the Formula 1 World Championship, the most watched sport in the world, the pinnicle of motorsport, without ever turning a wheel in anger is a joke and undermines F1 – the fact that you also have a team without a place on the grid, who would clearly make it to the test sessions, not to mention the first race and be competative at the same time (Toyota designs are going to be at least mid-field) just adds further to the whole mess.

The FIA should have picked the best teams and not been political about it.


Steve, you’re right, they may not be well funded based on those points, but it makes it more likely – You won’t really know how well funded a team has been for the year until around 10 months after year end (in the UK anyway) and by then it’s too late.

But the fact they are testing a car this month and Campos are not, I would guess their biggy bank is a little fuller at the moment.

regarding credibility, that’s a funny thing, and you may be right in saying Stefan GP don’t have any at the moment… so if that is the case where does that leave Campos…?

Regarding the 40ft container… you can fit a fair amount in that.

Final point, if someone gave you £10 to place a bet, who would you bet on, Campos or Stefan?


Lee, with all due respect none of the above points to Stefan GP being ‘well funded’ and they haven’t sent ‘all their kit’ to Bahrain at all, just a 40 foot container of equipment their words.

I’m sorry, but I’m finding it hard to give them any credibility whatsoever.


How do you know Dave Richards would not have had such problems? If Dave and his sunglasses wanted to get into F1, he maybe should have tried building his own cars a few years back….


He has a good track record in high level motorsport including F1.

I think he had always intended to build his own cars, but not straight away.. Again the FIA should have made their mind up about customer cars.

I think most people would agree DR would be a better bet than Campos Meta


THere is one. It’s got a picture of Massa on it!


oh yeah! It’s worth having something on the top though, similar to the tweet site, as 48% of internet users have a smaller screen than mine and I can only see around a 3rd of that box with Massa in.

You don’t have to post that one if you don’t want to – just thought you would like to know if you didn’t already.


What’s going to happen if a team no-shows and Stefan GP are sitting there waiting…do they get a one-off appearance? Told “thanks, but no thanks” since they are unofficial?


Does it require approval from all the teams for Stefan to take over Campos’ entry? (Sounds like they have a say in the veto of its sale to Texira) If so would that be so easy to come by seeing as they could have a quite competitive machine and staff that could potentially threaten the mid-grid teams (hence $$$) ?


aaaaah james well done you read my mind.

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

Ryan was a scapegoat and I truly feel that he got done over last year.

But Coughlan!! What next? They just need Stepney, Flavio, Pat Symonds and some Serbian muscle to become the most dodgy team on the grid!!

I admire their spirit though. I hope that they do make it on the grid in 2010.


I think I read somewhere that they do have Stepney… may be wrong though


wow there is a thought. Serbian muscle, albanian Engineers, bulldog gascoigne, and flavio, lets roll the tanks


Perhaps Nelson Piquet Jr as lead driver? Bernie might like the WWF-pro-wrestling-like ‘good guys vs bad guys’ dimension a dodgy team would add, complete with evil-looking livery & uniforms and even sledging on the grid walk! Imagine the ratings!


I don’t agree with the first and third points you’ve made, but I do agree with the second.

My friend calls him Mike ‘Cough-It-Up’ Coughlan 😛


Don’t believe Ryan was made a scapegoat.

He misled/lied to race stewards & that got another driver unfairly penalised.

Lying to stewards to try & mislead them is already bad enough but to do it in order to get another driver penalised unfairly to try & cover up one’s own mistakes (Telling Lewis to let Trulli back past) is unacceptable.


Yeah, but so did Lewis and he was let off with a slap on the wrist; I still like Lewis on the track, but my dislike for him off it started the very moment he decided to cover his own lies with the defence of “the bigger boys made me do it”


If Stefan GP test at Bahrain, will they exclude themselves from the 2010 season by testing outside an approved test session?


no couse they are not yet under FIA rules , nor they will be until FIA says so (facepalm)


They’re not testing in Bahrain, they’ve just shipped their equipment out there ready for the first race


They’ve shipped *something to Bahrain. It could be a container full of old tires or something. What a PR ploy!


That’s right. The test is in Portimao


Over the years, Formula One has thrown up some bizarre and eccentric characters – there’s one running the show right now – but this guy is…… well – very interesting!

Strange behaviour, and yet he seems to have talked Toyota into giving (?) him their team, and to have talked two, until recently, leading F1 players into joining him on his roller coaster. (Not that they have much in the way of choice if they want to rejoin the sport.)

Fascinating days! Entrepreneurs. Back street garage constructors. Underfunding. Here today, gone tomorrow teams.

Takes me back thirty years!


The Toyota 2010 is worth exactly ZILCH! Oh wait the crazy serbian guys offer real money, I mean not monopoly money !!! hey Stephan you have a deal payment to be sent to my paypal account


So let me get this straight. Getting BMW Sauber’s name changed to just Sauber is a difficult thing to do as the top brass in F1 don’t want teams changing names year-to-year as it makes F1 look bad….But letting teams theoretically not show up to a race until the 4th of the season is not a problem?

It’s a huge joke! I’m surprised the FIA is letting this happen!


Its the F1 circus! No shortage of clowns. I can’t believe the ringmaster (aka Bernie) is allowing this to happen. Is F1 that desperate to attract an audience by allowing second rate ‘also rans’ to act as potential speedhumps to the real players.


Peter Sauber has not applied for a name change, he has said it is to do with TV Money, and BMW not signing the Concorde Agreement, which I guess means if he changes the team name, it’s a new team and therefore starts at the back with no money from last season.

Nothing to do with the teams not agreeing


The teams will be arguing that Sauber should not be entitled to the TV money that BMW would have received if they had signed to Concorde, so yes it does still rely on the teams helping them out.

I’ve never heard of teams being allowed to a miss a race, even Arrows showed up to the Friday practice session in order to meet their contractual obligations (they missed the race itself and got heavily reprimanded for it)


are you? really?


my thoughts exactly!

If they are not ready to race,fine them and forget them.No rookie class has ever had the prep time or publicity that these new teams enjoy.


Clearly you haven’t been following F1 that long. I’m not surprised at all!


Thanks for the condescending reply. Have actually been watching F1 for nearly 20 years now. Under Mosley yes I could see all this mess happening, but Todt has so far been very clean cut in his decisions.

I still suspect Bernie has bankrolled Stefan’s trip to Bahrain in order to apply pressure on the new teams.


I wasn’t being condescending, just that rule #1 of F1 is that you can always trust the powers that be to make a needless mess of things!


Is USF1 not the team under threat? After all, Dallara have said tha Campos have kept up with their payments, and the Teixeira deal seems to complete the Campos Meta circle.


Yes USF1 is under threat as well. However, they have funding in place. There pitfall is that their car hasn’t been approved by the FIA (yet). They are racing against the clock, and if they fall, it won’t likely happen til the last few seconds.

Campos financial woes are more likely to kill the team well before Bahrain, which is why most are suggesting that they’ll be the team that gets replaced by Stefan GP.

Of course, even if both teams fail, FOTA would likely have to unanimously approve their entry (unless Campos sells theirs). Would Virgin, Lotus, Sauber and even Toro Rosso allow a team that could potentially kick their butts on the grid? While trying to attract sponsorship? I think not!!!


The team seems to be serious about competing in F1, and look far more prepared than a few of the current entrants. Let them race, I say! Although I can’t see it being allowed, due to safety issues, and even if it gets past that stage, at least one of the current teams will veto their entry… Shame, as they’ve shown a great determination to compete, even though most people wrote them off when the news first broke of their intentions…


Where does this all leave Bruno Senna? I read somewhere (I think on this website) that K Nakajima would have one seat at Stefan GP. Would Bernie encourage Stefan GP to recruit Bruno Senna for the other seat?

2010 was looking like being the year when the two biggest names in the history of F1 were returning to the sport (albeit in Senna’s case the nephew of the great man).


One biggest name – Schu.

Nephew doesn’t count, just as Junior doesn’t (see last year).


The internet has never been more factually accurate.


You know Bernie is working this ALL the way…every side.


i hope he is just as delusional as you are if he did that he would end up thinking he got off lightly after his divorce settlement. here this glue is on me


The rollercoaster ride of the 2010 season continues, and it’s not even started yet!! Excellent.


“Ferrari are owed several million euros “

You mean Dallara, surely? 🙂


Teixiera owes Ferrari a lot of money after paying them to develop cars and engines for A1GP. If he comes into F1 by buying Campos, I can’t see Ferrari being happy, and I’m not sure the FIA will want one team suing another for money owed.

According to Dallara, Campos are up to date with their payments on the chassis development


No Ferrari for engines etc in A1GP


The way things panned out in last A1GP season, I thought it was the other way round, with Ferrari not being able to deliver cars to A1GP team consistently to the teams, they had to tweak their season scoring format…I thought Tony/A1GP teams should have sued Italian Company for not delivering cars. For a moment, I even suspected, Ferrari were executing “Contract” on behalf of Bernie to finish A1GP, which definitely was offering good single seater racing in F1 off-season. Anyways one way or other the series has come to an end, and Bernie will be a happy man..


When I first heard about Ferrari being the supplier of A1’s cars from their fourth season onwards, I have to say I was surprised, given how the series has always been somewhat of a rival to F1.

When there were then problems delivering the cars at the start of that season, resulting in the first race being cancelled and several teams not getting their cars until the second or third races, I’m afraid my “conspiracy theory radar” started to blip a bit.

Regardless of what was or was not actually going on there, there was another problem. When A1 launched, a large emphasis was put on cars that could overtake each other; part of this was the fact that the Lola-Zytek cars they originally used had been specified to use steel brakes rather than F1’s carbon brakes. (Steel brakes increase braking distances, allowing for easier overtaking.)

I saw the first season of A1GP and it was fantastic. I missed the next two due to being Sky-less, but when I came back to it in the fourth, with the new “Powered by Ferrari” cars, I was very disappointed, as it had become a lot more F1-esque, not least due to the carbon brakes. What was the point in differentiating yourself from F1, only to then buy a whole load of old F1-designs from Ferrari?

Ferrari played a very clever game there – if they’d decided to break away from F1, they had their own series ready; if not, they had something with which they could do Bernie a favour, perhaps.

Unless there’s something I’ve missed, A1GP’s decision to get into bed with Ferrari was up there with their other stupidest decision: selling the coverage to Sky when the BBC were gagging for it as a rival to ITV’s F1 coverage, at a time when F1 fans were seriously disillusioned with their sport. Had A1GP gone to the BBC, who could have broadcast its exciting first season without ITV-F1’s ad-breaks, who knows how far the series could have gone?

Still – to get back on-topic, sorry James – at least F1 now looks as if we’re going to have the most exciting season we’ve ever seen! I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited as this year.

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

Tony Texeira does not come without his controversies.

I used to work at RAB Capital, the major shareholders in A1GP.

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

How should I put this?….Tony Teixiera is very persuasive and a great at convincing people into buying into very speculative and ambitious ideas.

He made his money in the mining business and got to know Philip Richards of RAB Capital, a hedge fund specialising in early stage speculative natural resource investments.

Philip Richards is an evangelic Christian…and a real maverick (he invested in Northern Rock just after its troubles started).

Motorsport is completely outside the area of expertise of RAB and if it was not for TT I am sure that they would not have touched it with a bargepole. The thing has been nothing but a money pit for RAB ever since and they have poured in investment to keep it running. The value of the investment was severely written down in 2008 and in part caused the fund to stop trading and lock up investors for three years.

I understand that Bernie keeps a private detective on retainer. No doubt he would have checked him out!

James, speaking of other controversial characters… you remember “Prince” Malik ado Ibrahim of Arrows in 1999? I remember meeting you in the Arrows motorhome at the British GP when Schuey broke his leg. I knew Malik very well for a while but then lost contact. The last that I heard of him was that he was acquitted of theft in Texas in 2007.

Just ask Eddie Jordan to tell you some stories about him the next time you chat!

Malik Ado was recently on CNN …


Very interesting reading Kate and Mike!


Try Googling DiamondWorks, or the man plus Peter Hain.

What you find is up to you…

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

I shall have a think and pick my words very carefully!! Will get back to you.


Tell us more


James, are you saying Stefan GP would even run the Toyota Engines? Any idea what badge the engines would carry?


Or who would drive the cars?

Or man the pits?

They seem to have more money than sense, but then with Dave Ryan and Coughlan on board, they’ve got experience on hand, so they should know what they’re up against.

Either that or they’re just happy to be getting a paycheque and are playing along – don’t blame them if they are.

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