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F1 NEWS 

Epsilon 'respects' FIA's decision

Joan VilladelpratEpsilon Euskadi boss Joan Villadelprat says he respects the FIA's decision to not grant the 13th team slot for the 2011 season.

The governing body said on Wednesday that none of the candidates met the requirements to join the Formula 1 grid next year, with Epsilon conceding the financial aspect of the project was still not secured.

The Spanish squad, which had already applied to enter the sport last year, told AUTOSPORT that it was still not ruling out securing the budget for the 2011 season, in which case it would contact the FIA again with the hope that it is allowed to join the grid.

Villadelprat made it clear he would not bring his team into Formula 1 until the necessary budget was in place.

"First of all, I would like to say that we respect the FIA's decision of not granting the allocation of the 13th license," said Villadelprat. "If, having all the information about the candidates, they decided that this is the best option is because it must be.

"As a personal opinion, I think that it is best to leave it vacant rather than having a team that, given the deadlines and requirements, would almost be impossible to be ready for 2011.

"We knew it would be very difficult for us to be chosen since, as I always said, we still don't have the economic package granted. Without this capital it would be unfeasible to carry out the F1 project that we want.

"And without this capital neither would we commit ourselves to do it. We have the ideal facilities and work force for Formula 1 and we will keep working to get there sooner or later."

Villadelprat, who last year had the necessary financial backing to enter the sport, is still hopeful of finding the money.

"Last year we had investors we couldn't get back this time," he said. "The fact that we don't have it now doesn't mean that we couldn't have it within a short period of time. As soon as we have it, we will be able to set other scenarios out."

He denied, however, that having worked on the F1 project has been a waste of time.

"Not at all! Everything we did had an aim, which was to be ahead in order to be ready in case we were granted the entrance," added the Spaniard, whose team had already tested its wind tunnel model.

"This didn't happen but all the work done until now helped us to gain and keep accumulating experience and know how in the field.

"Automotive and racing is in our DNA but we also work in other industries which benefit from our advances and experience."

The Epsilon boss also suggested he was not ruling out some sort of partnership with another team to enter Formula 1.

"As I said, the 13th license was one way but not the only one to get into Formula 1. We definitely consider other possibilities, which can be very different.

"We are talking about options that haven't occurred yet but, I repeat, we will keep working both on the financial and development packages to be ready for when these options may come up."

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