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GP Week : Issue 44
ANALYSIS Who wants in to F1? In a news analysis special, GPWeek looks at who might make the move to Formula 1 thanks to the new budget cap A number of leading GP2 teams have joined the ever increasing number of outfits to express an interest in tendering for a place on the 2010 Formula 1 grid after the FIA announced it will introduce a £40 million voluntary budget cap next year. GPWeek spoke to a number of the leading GP2 teams and assesses the likelihood of the outfits tendering for one of the three vacant grid slots. ART Grand Prix: 2005 and 2006 GP2 Champions, 2008 GP2 Asia Champions, ART is the stand out team from the sub-F1 category. The team and its owners have grand ambitions, and an F1 entry to add to its GP2, F3 and potential GP3 operations makes good sporting sense. Tender likely. Nicolas Todt: “Obviously when you are in this business you always dream of Formula 1. I have always said that if they are able to cut the costs drastically then I would think about it. But if I go to Formula 1, my goal is not to survive, it is to do well in terms of results and in terms of economics,”he told GPWeek. “The recent decisions, which are not yet finalised, go in the right direction, and I think that in the future it will be much more doable, to have your own team. So if things go like that and they take that direction, then I will consider that.” iSport International: 2007 GP2 Champions, iSport International has been heavily linked to a 2010 move to F1. Although team boss Paul Jackson’s quotes were taken a touch too literally by some areas of the press, there can be no denying the abilities of the team. After running Bruno Senna in the 2008 GP2 Series, could iSport yet play a role in his move to F1? Tender likely. Paul Jackson: “The truth of the matter is that we are very interested in understanding the full implications of the new proposals and exploring the viability of entering F1,”he told GPWeek. “We are going through that process at the moment and have been somewhat surprised at the level of interest from potential investors. “So, although we are some way from any firm commitment, it is fair to say that there is a possibility that we could make it. I have numerous meetings ongoing with various parties assessing both the technical and commercial aspects of a proposal. We are aware that there are only three places, and the level of interest is quite high, so we need to be certain that we have all the right ingredients in place to make a strong case for an entry.” Dams: 2009 GP2 Asia Champions, Dams is undergoing a resurgence of late. A grand team with a rich racing history, might we yet see Jean- Paul Driot’s boys make the leap to F1? They’ve put Nakajima in F1, and Kobayashi looks set to follow his countryman to the top ranks. They may well be joined by the team that took them there. Tender possible. Jean-Paul Driot: “I think this is the best opportunity for a GP2 Team to join the F1 circus,”he told GPWeek. “DAMS is obviously interested but knowing the constraints and what F1 requests in terms of technology and finance, we