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GP Week : Issue 50
Overlooked teams remain hopeful A NUMBER of prospective new F1 Teams remain optimistic that they may still find their way onto the 2010 grid as FOTA and the FIA’s war of wills continues unabated and heads toward the latest deadline of June 19. Other than the previously- announced Team US F1, the names of the successful applicants caught many by surprise. Team US F1 was perhaps the one certainty, but Campos and Manor’s selection over the likes of Lola, Prodrive, Lotus Lite and Brabham has been seen across the board as a major shock. However, with no guarantees that the FOTA teams will come to any agreement with Max Mosley and the FIA before the ultimate deadline for them to drop their entry conditions, there could yet be a wealth of open spaces for the 2010 championship. It is with this in mind that the unsuccessful applicants have not yet ruled themselves out of the running for next year. “We will wait to see how things develop in the next week, up to the 19 June deadline set by the FIA and we remain prepared and ready to implement our plans should the circumstances allow,” said Prodrive boss David Richards. “As we have seen before, there are quite often many twists and turns in Formula 1.” Indeed, the leaving off the list of the likes of Lola and Prodrive, whom most saw as favourites for the open grid positions, is viewed in some quarters as another tactical move from FIA President Max Mosley. By keeping strong teams off the initial entry list, he is keeping weapons in his armoury against any rebellion by FOTA teams. And with at least two manufacturers thought to be giving serious consideration to pulling out of F1 at the end of 2009 regardless of how current negotiations unfold, the likes of Lola and Prodrive may yet find a way into F1 even if FOTA does agree to the FIA’s concessions. Furthermore, it is thought unlikely that the FOTA alliance will be able to maintain its strength much longer. Both McLaren and BrawnGP, as pure racing teams, are believed to be under pressure to agree terms with the FIA to include their names unconditionally for the 2010 championship as are the Red Bull teams, given team owner Dietrich Mateschitz’s good relationship with Max Mosley. That would leave just Ferrari, Renault, Toyota and BMW united under FOTA. There will be meetings throughout the week between FOTA members as they search for a solution. But with the likes of Lola, Prodrive, Lotus Lite, Brabham Grand Prix, March, Superfund, N Technology and Epsilon Euskadi all waiting in the wings, there are a wealth of options waiting to take the place of any team that opts to remove itself from F1 in 2010.