Formula One veteran Alex Wurz has revealed that the Team Superfund project he is spearheading will not
be actively seeking to replace the ailing BMW Sauber operation on next year's grid.
The Austrian venture remains among those teams still in touch with the FIA about filling places in future F1 fields but, while the likes of Prodrive, Epsilon Euskadi and Litespeed/Lotus have made no secret of their interest in filling BMW Sauber's spot in 2010, Wurz insists that Superfund has reservations.
Principal among Wurz's concerns is that the cost of competing is no longer being limited by the governing body. While admitting that it is now getting too late in the 2009 campaign to begin planning a start-up operation from scratch, the former Benetton, McLaren and Williams racer pointed to the removal of the proposed budget cap following the cessation of the FIA-FOTA 'war' as being a negative when it came to joining other newcomers Team US F1, Campos Grand Prix and Manor Grand Prix on the grid next season.
“On the one hand, it is too late, and, on the other, there is no longer the budget limit of €45m,” he told Austrian broadcaster ORF
quoted Wurz as saying.
BMW Sauber's shock announcement that it was to follow Honda through F1's exit door has resurrected the hopes of various operations rejected in the sport's initial expansion plan, even though a bid from minority stakeholder Peter Sauber was seen as the favourite to succeed. However, with the Swiss team owner's offer being rejected, and BMW failing to sign the new Concorde Agreement last Wednesday, the FIA has opened up the slot to potential newcomers.
To date, only the Spanish outfit has confirmed that it would be interested in taking the place, leading to it being branded favourite in the media [see story HERE
Wurz, meanwhile, is being heavily touted as a contender for one of the seats at Team US F1, despite the Peter Windsor/ Ken Anderson operation insisting that it wants to field 'homegrown' talent.
“We have spoken to Alex,” Windsor confirmed in a recent interview with BBC Sport
, “Any new team coming into F1 needs to look at drivers with experience, [and] Alex Wurz could perhaps be able to operate at our rate of learning.
“We have said several times that we want to run Americans, but our first year in F1 will be critical in a number of ways, especially in this compressed time zone. We don't have a lot of time to do everything now because of all the turbulence and politics we have had this season, so there is maybe an argument for running an experienced driver in one car.”
Wurz, who currently acts as test driver for Brawn GP, officially retired as an F1 racer in 2007 but, as Michael Schumacher and Luca Badoer have shown in recent weeks, making comebacks after some time away is not beyond the realms of possibility.