BBC Formula One pundit and former team owner Eddie Jordan has stated his view that Stefan Grand Prix will be on the Bahrain grid in two weeks time. However great and supportive this statement may be, the rest of his article on the BBC website once again throws the pieces of the jigsaw around in the air, contradicting many reports over the last few days.
Mr. Jordan goes on to say, “My understanding is that they will be in Bahrain with ex-champion Jacques Villeneuve driving,[who] was due to have a seat fitting at Stefan’s German base.” Thanks Eddie. We’ve been reporting that over the whole weekend.
Mr. Jordan does go on the record that he thinks Stefan GP will take over the vacated grid slot left by USF1. Although he does go on to say “Don’t be surprised if the backer of US F1 – YouTube founder Chad Hurley – joins up with Stefanovich.”
Again, this is another piece of contradictory news, opposing the reports that have been circulating the web and indeed implied from Stefan GP own statements that the deal with Chad Hurley has collapsed, and that Hurley is back supporting the USF1 outfit by offering the FIA a 7-figure surety bond in exchange for their grid slot to be deferred until 2011. This money is surely coming from Hurley who would be wise not to waste anymore of his money on the USF1 team.
In the meantime, FIA president has been talking to Joe Saward today regarding the Stefan GP entry. Mr. Saward writes, “When it came to Stefan GP’s entry, it was clear that this is problematical. “We have rules that we have to protect,” he [Todt] said. But when asked if acquiring USF1’s entry was the only way for Stefan GP to get an entry, he would not be drawn. He said that the FIA was looking for solutions but would not be drawn on what those solutions will be. This will all be revealed in the days ahead.”
Clearly, there is a lot of legal paperwork to get around before the FIA can revoke USF1’s grid slot. That is if the FIA decide to do this. As of now, there has been no word from them regarding Charlie Whiting’s visit to the Charlotte factory last Wednesday. Clearly, us fans in the outside world are not privy to the chattering on phone-lines in the background. Another day’s wait is on the menu.
Stefan Grand Prix are to unveil their cars at a media event on Wednesday morning near the Toyota Cologne factory, and judging by this photo, there appears to be plenty of Serbian Red on the bodywork!