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GP Week : Issue 44
> F1NEWS> It’s something that interests me, but I think the GP2 teams that say they’re going to jump straight into F1 are having pipe dreams – Super Nova’s David Sears on the budget cap will only take such a decision when all these parameters will be objectively fulfilled. Making declarations of intention is always the easiest part of the deal so, we are very conservative on this matter. “ Super Nova: Race winners in GP2 and former F3000 greats, Super Nova is a team never to be discounted from the running. Team Principal David Sears however believes that GP2 teams would be foolish to go it alone in Formula 1, even under the budget cap. Tender unlikely unless in collaboration with another proposed entry. David Sears: “Of course it’s something that interests me but I think GP2 teams that say they’re just going to jump into Formula 1 are having pipe dreams because quite honestly I think there is such a massive difference between GP2 and Formula 1,”he told GPWeek. “No GP2 team has got anything like the kind of infrastructure at the moment and to make the jump to F1 in five minutes I think is impossible. And I personally think that the new teams that come in have already been blessed. “Let’s put it this way. We would be more sensible as GP2 teams to hook in with someone that wants to do F1 and to be honest with you Prodrive and Aston Martin has got to be one team coming in. Lola with Martin Birrane has got the infrastructure and everything else as the Irish team coming in, and if the American team has got its money down that will be the third one. I think that while those have all been anointed, the GP2 teams should be talking about it [with them.]” Racing Engineering: 2008 GP2 Drivers’Champion with Giorgio Pantano, Racing Engineering and the team’s founder Alfonso de Orleans Borbon would be a perfect fit for F1. That said, however, de Orleans told GPWeek it’s not a consideration for 2010 … because he’s hoping to get a budget together for 2011. Tender unlikely in 2010, potential (if possible) for 2011. “I’m not really looking into it for 2010 since I am working on a budget, and that is what we seem to be good at, for 2011 since it would be a bit tight [to find the budget] for 2010… especially if you want to do a decent job on the track,”he told GPWeek. “I don’t want to enter F1 without having the majority of the financing in place to fund it for at least three years. Short term projects are a waste of time and money for everyone involved. So we either do it right, or not at all. “If in 2011 there is no space to enter F1, so be it. We can always find other projects and the budget we will need for F1 will leave us an option to do just that. It’s no secret that Le Mans has always had a special place in my heart because of the LMPs.” Who else might we see in F1? USF1: This one is all but a certainty. It has been well publicised that Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor are well along the way with their all- American Formula 1 venture. F1 needs an American presence, both in terms of a race, a team and drivers, and this is one outfit we can expect to see, budget permitting, as about as close to a certainty as one can ever have in a sport whose politics and finances change as fast as those in F1. Tender a certainty. Lola: Lola Executive Chairman Martin Birrane was in the Brands Hatch A1GP Paddock over the weekend, reportedly on a hiring spree of top talent from the championship to head up his F1 operation. As A1 Team Ireland swept to the title, it was no surprise to see Birrane with the team, not least because the Lola boss is himself Irish. Speculation has been rife that Birrane might wish to hand GP2 race winner and 2008/2009 A1GP Champion Adam Carroll the F1 shot his meteoric talent deserves. Tender a certainty. Prodrive/Aston Martin: Prodrive won the last FIA tendering process for the 12th F1 grid slot, and should have been on the 2008 F1 grid. Political moves to outlaw customer cars meant Prodrive’s plans came unstuck. Known to have been interested in taking on the former Honda squad, it seems that under the new budget cap Prodrive boss David Richards may yet see his F1 dream realised. Will it be as Prodrive? Will it be as Aston Martin. Or could it be under a completely different name? With finance coming in from the Gulf, this is a very serious F1 prospect. Tender a certainty. Campos: Believed to be interested in a move to F1, Campos (or Addax as it will be known from 2009) has a good heritage. The team was established by Adrian Campos, who took Fernando Alonso to F1, and as with Racing Engineering the thought of a Spanish F1 team makes good marketing sense. The team is now owned and run by Alejandro Agag, one of Flavio Briatore’s closest friends and business partners. With no guarantees that Renault will remain in F1 in 2010 however, Agag and Briatore may yet look to go into business together to take over the existing RF1 Team, should the French manufacturer pull the plug. Tender thought possible. Signature: The World Series and Formula 3 team has strong links with Volkswagen, and rumour sabound that we may yet see a potential tender from the squad with full manufacturer support. The team joined up with fellow WSR competitors Ultimate a few years back and launched a strong but ultimately unsuccessful bid for a 2008 GP2 team slot. That the two teams have gone separate ways suggests both have their own individual intentions for the future. Tender thought possible. Ultimate: As mentioned, Ultimate wanted to get into GP2 with Signature, but may yet see the budget cap as a perfect opportunity to move into F1. Team boss Barry Walsh is a good businessman with a keen eye, and may view this opportunity as the perfect chance to take his team and brand into the pinnacle of single seater motorsport. Tender thought possible. Carlin: Trevor Carlin was last involved in F1 with Jordan as Sporting Director and like Signature and Ultimate, saw his team’s bid for a GP2 spot in 2008 turned down. That might not be enough to ward the former racer away from the bright lights of an F1 tender, however. Carlin acquired the former Brabham F1 factory in Surrey in 2007 and has the facilities to run an F1 operation. Tender thought possible.