There seems to be a concerted effort going on to try to give Stefan Grand Prix a little more credibility. There are reports that the Serbian operation has done a deal with Dallara and bought the rights to the car that was being built for Campos Meta 1. The suggestion is that the Spanish operation did not keep up to date with payments and so Dallara did what was necessary to reduce its exposure. Campos has since denied that this is the case and that the agreement between it and Dallara is “in place as agreed when the contract was signed back at the beginning of 2009”. The agreement means that Dallara cannot work with another Formula 1 team although it could provide some engineering services to a team with another chassis. If Dallara did sell the chassis to another team it would mean that Campos Meta 1 would be dead in the water and could only sell its entry to the highest bidder. However, breaking up such an arrangement would be unlikely to happen without months of legal wrangling. If Campos’s entry does become available there really is only one bidder because no-one else can have a car built and ready before the Chinese GP, which is the point at which new teams must appear. Stefan has some kind of a deal with Toyota to run its 2010 car and there is talk of Ralf Schumacher coming back to give the team some substance.
One can understand the desire to have 13 strong teams but what is not immediately obvious to the Formula 1 world is where the Stefan money is coming from. It is great if there is money as it will mean that interest in Eastern Europe will ramp up still further, following the success of Robert Kubica and the arrival of Vitaly Petrov, but what is important is that the team is solid and strong and does not fold up like a house of cards in a few months from now, leaving a poor impression that will rub off on all things Serbian.
The country has been through enough grief over the years.