Ambitious would-be Formula One team owner Zoran Stefanovic is refusing to reveal the drivers he is hoping to lure to his nascent effort, despite the media adding Karun Chandhok to the list in recent days.
Instead, the Serb is focusing his efforts on ensuring that his team, which is based in the former Toyota F1 headquarters in Cologne and will use the Japanese marque's still-born TF110 chassis, is as well prepared for a possible opportunity as it can be.
"The situation is that we are healthy and hoping on it," Stefanovic told 422race.com
, "For sure, that's the one thing. At the moment, we are taking the required steps necessary to be in races - if we can get the entry, of course. Basically, what we know is that there are some situations that could arise with some other teams and, realistically, we expect to come after that. But we will see. We are doing things which means the first car is ready and the second car is on the way to being done, perhaps finished in the middle of next week."
Although the team has the tacit backing of F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone [see story here
], new FIA president Jean Todt has refused to confirm that Stefan GP would be the first choice replacement should any team fail to make it to Bahrain - even though Stefanovic has already shipped equipment to the Gulf state in readiness for such an eventuality.
"Stefan GP is in contact with Mr Todt and we fully respect his position and what he's saying," the Serb revealed, tactfully, "What he says absolutely makes sense, because FIA is the ruling body and we recognised this from the very first moment. And I have to point to you that I've been in motorsport for 41 years, so I fully obey all the rules. We have no problems at all. I think the approach from Mr Jean Todt is very sensible and probably in the interest of all involved."
Stefanovic also denied trying to persuade the powers-that-be to expand the 2010 entry list to 14 teams to give his outfit the chance to compete without having to wait for either USF1 or Campos Meta to finally call time on their ailing projects [see story here
"It is not our intention," he stressed, "Someone just put it to the press, but we are not asking for that at the moment. If it happens with our involvement, it's no problem, we are quite happy with this. On our side, the situation is very clear; to have 14 teams would be the best solution, but we are not pushing for this.
"We think that common sense will prevail. The team exists, it's fully prepared to come to the races and I think it's not in the best interest of the sport to keep these things outside. The rule is very clear; it's possible to do this, it's just about the people who are involved to do this properly. Which way is up to them, not to us.
"I think Mr Ecclestone supports what is healthy for the sport, and that's the main reason why he's supporting [us]. It's very healthy for the sport having serious and organised teams."