Five new teams confirm F1 plans
|By Jonathan Noble
||Wednesday, May 20th 2009, 10:25 GMT
Former grand prix boss Nick Wirth, sportscar team Epsilon Euskadi, leading race car engineering company Ray Mallock Limited, former GP2 outfit Campos Racing and automotive parts company Formtech have joined the list of outfits confirming plans to compete in Formula 1 next year, AUTOSPORT has learned.
Although only a handful of outfits have gone public with their intention to make the step into F1 in 2010, a more expanded list of candidates emerged from the French courts on Tuesday during the hearing to discuss Ferrari's bid to get an injunction on next year's rules.
As part of the defence from the FIA that such an injunction would wreck the plans of new teams to make the jump to F1, AUTOSPORT understands that a number of letters were presented from new teams saying that any delay to them getting the go-ahead for 2010 plans would force them to abandon their efforts.
According to sources, the list of teams that were looking at moving to F1 were Lola, USF1, Wirth Research, Epsilon Euskadi, RML, Campos Racing, iSport and Formtech, which bought the Super Aguri F1 team's assests.
Another two outfits have also expressed an interest in moving up to F1. British F3 team Litespeed issued a statement declaring its intention to apply for an entry, while Prodrive has also admitted to be considering the move.
However, in recent days Prodrive boss David Richards has suggested that uncertainty over the 2010 regulations was forcing him to consider a rethink about his plans.
"The new regulations announced by the FIA are very much in line with what we were expecting and, I believe, have the potential to allow a team to be commercially viable and competitive on a far more realistic budget," he told GPWeek.
"However, we are very concerned about the controversy these proposals have created with the existing teams and the uncertainty that this has created."
Bernie Ecclestone has also talked about a second team from the United States expressing an interest.
FIA president Max Mosley made it clear last week that the governing body was unwilling to compromise on its plans for a £40 million voluntary budget cap because it was vital that new teams came into F1.
"If we wait any longer, we won't have any new teams because it is too late for them to come," he said. "I think there was an element among the FOTA teams hoping to delay until the point where there could be no new teams.
"I think we now have 11 organisations that say they want to come in, of whom seven are serious. So it will be interesting to see what happens."
Should Ferrari's injunction application be successful, then it will mean that all the 2010 regulations introduced by the FIA last month will be on hold - including the fact that the entry list for the 2010 championship closes on May 29.
With the matter likely to go to appeal whichever side wins, the delay in the entry list closure will buy manufacturer teams more time to propose alternative regulations to the FIA - even though it could force new entrants to abandon efforts.
A decision from the French courts is expected at 2pm local time on Wednesday.