Of the four new teams for 2010 (Lotus, Virgin, Campos and USF1), this week has been most difficult for USF1 with rumors and reports of their struggles and possible demise. Virgin Racing and Lotus F1 Racing are present at pre-season testing in Jerez while Campos Meta and USF1 are struggling to survive.
Perusing the AUTOSPORT website I see that Campos Meta is on the verge of being pulled from the ashes by Jose Ramon Carabante. This is not a shock as we discussed the possibility here last week but it is a good sign for the Spanish team. The commercial rights boss Bernie Ecclestone has been rumored to be the author of the financial rescue and perhaps that is not as far fetched as it may seem as the venerable ring leader wants a Spanish presence in F1.
Carabante, the article says, has acquired the services of ex-Force India team principal Colin Kolles and ex-Red Bull technical director Geoff Willis on a short-term basis. A good move as both gentlemen are well positioned to make the operation happen.
The remaining rumor about Campos Meta is that there could be a possible discussion between USF1 investor Chad Hurley, Bernie Ecclestone and Campos Meta about a possible merger. Those are rumors that came out of Argentina yesterday as we discussed here.
If Campos Meta has Carabante behind the program and the Dallara chassis can be acquired along with the engine from Cosworth with Kolles and Willis managing the assembly–I am not sure what a merger would bring Campos Meta at this time but I am sure there are tales and lucrative up-side benefits that Ecclestone himself could be proposing to see the teams merge leaving a space open for his other pet project, Serbian team Stefan GP. Makes sense on a lot of ways. If the merger doesn’t happen, we’ll have to wait and see what USF1 does in order to know if Stefan GP will make it to the grid.
Time, as always, will tell.