New teams on course to make Bahrain
|By Jonathan Noble||Thursday, February 4th 2010, 13:59 GMT|
Team US F1 and Campos Meta 1 remain fully on course to make the start of the Formula 1 season, despite speculation suggesting both teams' efforts could be in doubt.
With Virgin Racing having become the first new team to unveil its 2010 car on Wednesday, and Lotus Racing confirming its launch will be on February 12, there has been a fresh focus on the two other F1 rookie outfits.
Although both teams admit that they have faced difficulties in recent weeks as they get themselves ready for the move to F1, US F1 and Campos insist they are both on course for next month's Bahrain Grand Prix.
Peter Windsor, US F1's executive vice president, told AUTOSPORT that the team was thinking of nothing more than racing in Bahrain.
"We're still in exactly the same mode - flat out," he explained. "Bahrain is the goal - and we are not thinking of anything else. It is just amazing to see the hours and time that everyone is putting in.
"We had a slight bump in the road with a sponsor who was late on payment, but that is typical of what can happen to any new team. We've moved on from that and found a replacement."
Windsor said the team would run its car once it had passed all its mandatory crash tests - which should happen soon.
"The car is quite late because we put a massive amount of development time into it," he explained. "We are taking our time and as a team we are confident we are on the right track.
"As soon as we are through the crash tests, we will be doing a shakedown and going to Bahrain."
He added: "We will be in Bahrain. We may not be pretty, but we will be there. And from there we will grow. This is all about belief, passion and people being committed to a very good cause."
Rumours that US F1 has asked for special dispensation to miss the first three races of the season have also been completely dismissed.
A senior source at Campos Grand Prix said on Thursday that its team is also very close to finalising a deal that will guarantee its future – having openly admitted that it has faced financial difficulties in recent weeks.
It is understood that a deal has been reached with a new investor – believed to be A1 GP boss Tony Teixeira – that will bring much-needed finances to the outfit.
"We have agreements in place and we expect the situation to be finalised in the next few days," said the source, who emphasised the team was on course to be ready for Bahrain.
Although there have been rumours in recent days that Campos' deal with Italian racing car constructor Dallara was in jeopardy because F1 hopeful Stefan GP had reached an agreement with the company too, AUTOSPORT understands that the two projects are not related.
While Dallara is producing an entire car for Campos, the deal with Stefan GP is believed to revolve around the development and evolution of the Toyota 2010 chassis that the Serbian-based team has acquired.