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Epsilon boss 'worried' about 'tiny' time for F1 2011 entrants to prepare

Joan Villadelprat - team chief of F1 2011 hopeful Epsilon Euskadi - has expressed his fears that the fact that the FIA will not make a decision until August could harm the successful applicant's chances of being competitive
Joan Villadelprat has expressed his fears that history could repeat itself and whichever team – or teams – is accepted for F1 entry in 2011 will have only a 'tiny' period of time in which to successfully build their car, potentially leading to the same kind of disaster that characterised the USF1 débâcle this year.

Four names have emerged as the leading contenders to fill the 13th available grid slot in the top flight next season – GP2 Series and F3 Euroseries multiple champions ART Grand Prix, Italian outfit Durango, the mysterious American Cypher Group and Villadelprat's Epsilon Euskadi sportscar and single-seater operation.

There is still no sign as to which of the four will be successful, and until there is a decision, no major work can really be carried out to prepare for an F1 debut in the event of not being selected – something that Villadelprat admits is a significant concern.

“I'm optimistic, but also a bit worried because the FIA announcement won't come before the end of August,” the Spaniard told Italian magazine Autosprint. “That means that, for the teams who get the nod, the time to start proper construction of the F1 car will be tiny. On top of that, it's inevitable that we now find ourselves in the situation where we begin making investments without knowing whether we'll actually be in next year's championship.”

However, Villadelprat remains convinced that Epsilon has the potential to stake its claim to a long-term future in F1 should it receive the governing body's approval – even if he is cynical about Virgin boss Richard Branson's boast that a team can survive and succeed on a budget of just €40 million.

“We have long been in talks with big and important international companies who are interested in investing in us,” revealed the former Tyrrell, Benetton and Prost team manager. “One thing is for sure – our programme isn't on a yearly basis. The budget I require must cover at least the first two seasons, 2011 and 2012. I repeat, that's a minimum. An F1 team can't be reasoning year-by-year.

“I feel that, in order to begin thinking of improving a team, you need no less than €100 million as a starting-point. Of course, you can race with €40 million too, but without making any important development and at the risk of always being just an extra – and having to start over from zero every year.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
FIA flag. British Formula One Grand Prix.Silverstone, UK.July 8th 2007.
Nakano/Valles Epsilon Euskadi Judd
Nakano/Valles Epsilon Euskadi Judd
Kaisuke Kunimoto - Epsilon Euskadi [pic credit: Renault Sport]
Adrian Valles - Epsilon Euskadi [pic credit: Renault Sport]
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 1, Mika Salo (FIN), FIA Steward and Jacques Villeneuve (CAN)
28.04.2017 - Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Mika Salo (FIN), FIA Steward
27.04.2017 - Jo Bauer (GER) FIA Technical Delegate
27.04.2017 - Jo Bauer (GER) FIA Technical Delegate
27.04.2017 - Jo Bauer (GER) FIA Technical Delegate
Romain Grosjean, 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix, Haas F1 Team (credit Haas)
Jo Bauer (GER) FIA Delegate.
Jo Bauer (GER) FIA Delegate.
16.04.2017 - Race, Chase Carey (USA) Formula One Group Chairman
14.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, Chase Carey (USA) Formula One Group Chairman
14.04.2017 - Chase Carey (USA) Formula One Group Chairman
14.04.2017 - Chase Carey (USA) Formula One Group Chairman
14.04.2017 - Chase Carey (USA) Formula One Group Chairman

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quentin - Unregistered

June 17, 2010 1:24 PM

come on people they all got to start someware and with no testing allowed these days how else is a team supposed to do any running apart from race meetings, so stop moaning about them being mobile chicanes remember last year look were mclaren were with their car with the experience they got and came up with a dog of a car at the begining of the season but improved it to one of if not the fastest by the season end. so they all need a chance to start

Conger - Unregistered

June 17, 2010 3:17 PM

Unlimited testing for teams in their first year of F1 seems very sensible to me. Therefore if properly funded they will have a proper chance to get on the pace.

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