The Stefan Grand Prix team has revealed that it has shipped a container of equipment to Bahrain for the opening round of the 2010 F1 season – despite the fact the Serbian outfit doesn't have an entry on the grid.
The team has made no secret of its desire to join the grid this season having concluded a 'basic agreement' to receive technical support from Toyota Motorsport GmbH.
That deal is believed to involve Stefan GP acquiring the car Toyota would have raced this season had it not withdrawn from the sport, as well as a supply of engines.
The team revealed over the Christmas period that the 'Stefan S-01' had successfully passed crash tests completed internally and would be put forward for full FIA crash tests as 'scheduled by the end of January 2010'.
Any hope Stefan GP may have of making it onto the grid this season would appear to rest on one of the four new teams – Campos Meta, Lotus, Virgin Racing and USF1 – failing to appear, although all four have insisted that they will take part this year, even if they fail to complete any testing prior to the season opener.
However, a statement from Stefan GP revealed that equipment is en-route to Bahrain with the team insisting it wants to race this season.
“Stefan Grand Prix becomes the first team in F1 history who did send a 40 foot container full of equipment to the race in Bahrain without having entry for 2010 season,” the short missive read. “On 29 Friday January we showed our spirit, and how serious our management and our employees are, when they say that we are pushing to get the entry, and that they want to race in 2010 season.”
Stefan GP had already said that it would look to run a testing programme for a variety of drivers this year if it was unable to secure a slot on the grid, with a view to then entering F1 in 2011.