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Epsilon Euskadi downplays merger talk

Epsilon Euskadi boss Joan Villadelprat downplays talks of a merger with fellow Spaniards Hispania Racing
Epsilon Euskadi boss Joan Villadelprat has played down talk that the F1 hopefuls are looking into the possibility of a merger with the Hispania Racing team.

The Spanish outfit, best known in recent years for its sportscar exploits, is one of the three teams seeking to secure the 13th slot on the grid for the 2011 F1 season, although rumours had suggested that its bid had run into financial problems.

Both ART Grand Prix and the Cypher Group had cited issues with raising the money required as the main reason for them withdrawing from the race.

Those rumours had in turn led to reports that Epsilon Euskadi was seeking a merger with the troubled Hispania team, with a combined venture between the two being seen as a viable alternative.

However, while he refused to rule out the possibility, Villadelprat denied that any talks have taken place.

"I don't know where that information came from," he told the Spanish publication AS. "I spoke with [Hispania boss] Jose Ramon Carabante about a possible collaboration with us as a technology provider. We are looking for clients and it is clear Hispania is a potential client for the type of work that we do, provided there is no conflict of interest.

"But that's it, there was never any talk of a merger, even though I do not close any doors."

Villadelprat added that the team was still hoping it will be successful in securing the slot on the grid created by USF1's failure to compete this season but said it wouldn't be the end of the world if the team doesn't secure an entry.

"Epsilon is more than F1,” he said. “We are 130 people and would not risk our stability to go where we cannot be feasible.

"The FIA knows our project well and now they must choose between the three candidates. We explained our situation, including our financial one, making it clear that we have a commitment to provide the necessary budget even if the deal is not yet closed."

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