Adrián Campos has reacted angrily to suggestions that his eponymously-named Campos Meta 1 outfit will not make the starting grid in time for the beginning of the F1 2010 campaign – and indeed may never even make the starting grid in the top flight at all – due to financial difficulties.
Rumours have begun circulating of late that it is not only USF1 amongst the forthcoming season's newcomers that is struggling to make the grade, with claims that Campos is behind on its payments to Italian chassis constructor Dallara, and that the curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir in mid-March is looking to be a tall order indeed [see separate story – click here
]. Far from it, argues Campos, who whilst acknowledging that more funding is required, is just as adamant that it will be found.
“We will be at the first race,” the ex-Minardi ace told the BBC
. “We are talking with people who would like to be shareholders. We are very near a budget, and we expect to have more investors. People speak too much and make trouble for us.
“I don't want to sell my part of the team, and I will remain the team principal – the condition to be a shareholder is to accept all the existing contracts. We are looking for investors and sponsors, but the project is very much alive.”
Campos Meta 1 is a joint collaboration between Campos and Spanish businessman José Ramón Carabante, and the former revealed that the Cosworth-powered challenger is due to hit the test tracks for the third of the four pre-season F1 tests at Jerez in southern Spain from 17-20 February. Dallara has confirmed that no payments are outstanding on the chassis side, and that the car has successfully passed all initial crash tests.
Two potential investors already appear to have been ruled out of the equation, however. A1GP founder Tony Teixeira is understood to owe money to a number of parties in the wake of the disastrous start to the World Cup of Motorsport's fifth campaign – one that looks almost inevitably to end in the nation vs nation series' eventual demise. The South African businessman has been linked with several F1 buy-outs in the past, but none has ever come to fruition.
Serbian Zoran Stefanovich, meanwhile – the man behind hopeful entrant Stefan GP – would seemingly only buy into Campos were he able to run the Toyota TF110 package he ostensibly purchased from the Japanese manufacturer following its F1 exit at the end of last season, a move that would likely result in legal action being pursued by both Dallara and Cosworth for breach of contract.
Whilst the name of Williams F1 reject Kazuki Nakajima has been mentioned in connection with Stefan GP [see separate story – click here
], more likely candidates to partner Bruno Senna in the second Campos cockpit are GP2 Series front-runners Vitaly Petrov and Pastor Maldonado, both of whom are known to be under consideration and both of whom would be able to bring vital backing to the team from their respective homelands of Russia and Venezuela.