Several of the teams, 15 in all, that applied for the F1 2010 series and were denied are somewhat dismayed by the ruling. The three new teams selected are Campos Grand Prix, Manor Grand Prix and Team US F1 as well as the current 10 teams. Interestingly Prodrive boss Dave Richards expressed his disappointment by saying:
“We are naturally disappointed by the FIA’s decision not to include Prodrive in the preliminary entry list for 2010 as we believe we have the resources and set-up to be competitive in Formula 1 and would make a positive contribution to the sport,”.
Epsilon Euskadi boss was also surprised telling Autosport:
“I’m a bit surprised because I thought we were fighting against Aston Martin, and Lola, and companies with a pedigree, if you will,”.
“I’m a little surprised, but I’m still optimistic because I have received a letter from the FIA saying that this is all provisional and that the final list will be on the 19th, and to keep on working and keep on sending the data that they will request, and that we are in a good position.
“That leaves at least a door open with what everything that’s going on. The truth is that, in that sense, we will do everything necessary and work to give them all the information that they need, as they will continue auditing. Even the new teams which are in are being audited.”
According to Superfund’s Alex Wurz, the FIA has a “reserve” list and they asked for him to be on that list. He told Autosport:
“The FIA asked Team Superfund to be in a reserve position, and they will keep on talking to the team and then a decision will be made.”
But the interesting one for me is the Lola team. Here is a real race car manufacturer who wants to enter the series, not just use a legacy name from the past like Litespeed or Franz Hilmer wanted to do, and they have a racing pedigree that speaks for itself with the ups and downs to prove it. Intriguing as well is the Campos Team on the entry list will be using Dallara chassis’s. What’s up with not allowing Lola?
My guess here is the crucial part of the FIA’s Press Release concerning due diligence. Many of the new teams have been asked to provide data to the FIA to help their due diligence process as administered by Deloitte. If I am Lola, a going racing car manufacturer supplying Aston Martin cars for Le Mans, I am not sure I would want the FIA’s accounting stooges plowing through my balance sheet to prove the veracity of our intent. What right do they have to review a companies balance sheet to determine the financial viability of the business? Sure, USF1 is just starting and has very little to be concerned about as they are not selling race car parts to other teams in F1 or other series around the world but Lola is. That information is very sensitive and competitors would love to know what Lola’s margins, operational costs and overhead is. Deloitte may claim non-disclosure on the information gleaned from these teams but if I am Lola, I wouldn’t ‘t trust Max as far as I can throw him and certainly wouldn’t trust my financial data in his stead. He knows too many of my competitors and could easily scuttle my business with a few words spoken in error or out of school.
But never fear, our man Peter Windsor is very excited about his teams name being on the list and so he should be. Telling Live 5:
“everything this sport has meant to me for the last 50-odd years of my life, finally to see the name of the team which I am lucky to be involved in on the FIA entry list is quite a humbling moment. I know that sounds a bit pretentious, but that is how I feel. I have got a lot of time and history in this sport and this is a very big day for me.”