So has all the funding dried up? Why it’s all quiet on the new teams front for 2011

August 16, 2010

David Richards (left), back when he was running an F1 Team in 2004. Photo: Jenkins, Pasternak & West

As Pirelli begin their first test for the 2011 specification F1 tyre, it would have been nice to have known who the new entrants are for 2011. The FIA is looking for two new entrants – one for the 13th grid place and the second to be the reserve team should, as Bernie Ecclestone suggests, one of the current new entrants fail to make it beyond the end of the 2010 season.

It was interesting to see a comment, published in Motorsport, by Prodrive boss, David Richards, that the relatively poor performance of the current new teams had badly impacted on the ability of any further new entrants to raise funding: “What [the new teams] have done is disillusion anyone of the idea that you could at all be competitive and it has also prejudiced raising funds. The performance of the new teams has harmed that ability, everyone had a dream, and I am sure Richard Branson had a dream a year ago, that starting a new team would somehow challenge the establishment well, we never believed that.” Richards’ comments are supported by the withdrawal of the widely tipped bid from Frederic Vasseur’s ART Grand Prix in July. This leaves Jean Villadelprat’s Spanish based Epsilon Euskadi operation still in the running – Epsilon were a bidder along with Prodrive for a 2010 place, but unlike Prodrive they have decided to remain in the frame, and are the favourite to make the 13th grid slot. Villadelprat was also quoted, back in June, as being worried that the FIA announcement would not come until the end of August (which looks like being the case), therefore meaning that the chances of being able to build a competitive car and raise sufficient funding are, to say the least, rather slim.

So who else is still in the running? Well we also have YouTube founder Chad Hurley’s business partner, Parris Mullins, who has been visiting the paddock fairly regularly, although it seems more likely that he may be involved in the buyout, or shareholding of an existing team. We also have former F1 World Champion Jacque Villeneuve’s bid which is in partnership with the ex-GP2 team Durango and is using the moniker of Villeneuve Racing.

As ever in Formula 1 there appears to be an excess of optimism over reality, and, as my good friend Richard West always says, the best way to make a small fortune in F1 is to begin with a very large one. Let’s hope whoever gets the slot and reserve place are starting off with large, rather than small, fortunes, as Ron Dennis recently remarked, running an F1 team is not for the faint-hearted.

3 Responses to “So has all the funding dried up? Why it’s all quiet on the new teams front for 2011”

  1. […] et nouveaux teams Intéressant article (en anglais) sur le blog du Pr Mark Jenkins –voir dans ma liste de liens Blogs- qui semble assez pessimiste […]

  2. […] great new blog. The second article takes an entirely different stance. Always thought provoking, Professor Mark Jenkins’ makes us consider whether the performance of this year’s new teams has affected any potential […]

  3. f1 careers Says:

    Having Pirelli in there is enough – the glamour days are back!

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