The FIA call for new teams for F1 in December resulted in two bids. One from the American entrepreneur Gene Haas, the other from a Romanian consortium, backed by the country’s government.
A decision was due to be announced today, but from what we are hearing the FIA has decided to postpone this, although it is not entirely clear why that has happened.
The Haas project was going to be largely dependent on Ferrari and on Dallara, while the Romanian plan seems to be linked to a Renault engine deal, not surprising given the country’s links with Renault, through the Dacia company.
To underline the serious nature of the Romanian bid, the country’s Minister of Youth and Sport Nicolae Banicioiu led a delegation that attended a meeting in the FIA logistics facility in Valleiry, near Geneva, earlier this week at which the proposals were examined by FIA engineers led by the federation’s Technical Director Bernard Niclot and Charlie Whiting.
From what we can understand the project involves a Romanian-owned entity with government support and funding coming from a series of Romanian businesses. The project has the support of the country’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta has been in power since 2012. It would involve the facilities of Kodewa and Holzer in Germany and would be run by expatriate Romanian Colin Kolles, who has had experience running various F1 teams in recent years.
It is not believed to be Kolles’s own operation, as has been reported.
The decision to delay the decision means that it will be almost impossible for anyone to have a project ready in time for 2015, unless the Romanians decide to go ahead without being granted an entry, which would be a big risk.
One would suppose that the FIA would be very keen to embrace a government-backed team in a fast-developing part of the world.