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F1 NEWS 

Stefan GP aims to test F1 rookies

Stefan Grand Prix plans to fund its 2010 testing plans through a young driver development programme that will earn Formula 1 rookies valuable mileage, AUTOSPORT has learned.

The Serbian-based team, which is still pushing for a slot on next year's grid but will test instead if it does not get an entry, has already secured a preliminary agreement with the former Toyota team to use its car and other facilities.

Although details of the team's backers are not expected to be confirmed prior to an official launch in late January, team owner Zoran Stefanovich has revealed how his team intends to fund the expense of testing.

He claims that with F1's strict in-season testing ban in place, Stefan GP, because it is outside the restrictions imposed on competing teams, will be able to finance its testing through teams and drivers paying for the privilege of running with it.

"We will offer teams, who are changing drivers during the season, or even young drivers themselves, the chance to test our car so they can gain experience," he said. "It will be purely a commercial operation."

Stefanovich has said that the team's first car, based on the 2010 Toyota, passed the latest of its FIA crash tests last week - but that it may be submitted for the rear one again because it was found that the design in this area could be made lighter still.

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