Wurz set to lead Superfund into F1
|By Simon Strang||Sunday, May 31st 2009, 15:00 GMT|
Former Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz has lodged an entry in the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship with a new start-up operation called Team Superfund, AUTOSPORT can reveal.
The former Williams, McLaren and Benetton racer, will become team principal of the new outfit, which is set to be funded by Austrian business tycoon Christian Baha - the founder and owner of the investment company Superfund. The team's cars will be powered by the standard-specification Cosworth engine.
Superfund joins Prodrive, Lola, Campos Meta1 and Team US F1 as one of several new ventures seeking to enter the sport following the FIA's plan to introduce budget caps to F1 for 2010.
AUTOSPORT understands that Superfund has been in serious discussions with the FIA already, that planning for the project is at an advanced stage, and that it has been in contact with key personnel. The team is waiting until it has secured its entry before it begins acquiring assets and staff however.
Superfund is also understood to be awaiting the outcome of talks between the governing body and the Formula One Teams' Association over proposals for existing teams to assist new outfits before it decides on how to structure the operation.
It is believed that Wurz would prefer to align the team with an existing constructor based in the UK, perhaps renting space, facilities and staff from its factory, while Superfund takes time to build-up its own headquarters, possibly based on existing resources in Austria. This would also give the new team an opportunity to gain essential experience from existing expertise.
It is understood however that finances are already in place for Superfund to create a team from the ground up if necessary.
Baha, who is known to be a huge motorsport fan, has sponsored F1 teams and junior series in the past and came close to setting up a Superfund category of his own earlier in the decade.
Wurz retired from Formula 1 racing at the end of 2007 with Williams, though he spent last year as test and reserve driver for Honda and has stayed on the team's roster since it became Brawn.
The 34-year-old Austrian is expected to continue racing for Peugeot in sportscars and will compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours next month.