The iSport team looks to be dropping out of the 2013 GP2 Series, with team principal Paul Jackson quoted as confirming that the team's financial situation does not allow it to participate in the feeder series this year.
"We will not be able to," Jackson said, explaining that the downturn in the economic climate affecting sponsorship was to blame. "This is a trend that can be seen at the moment in all Formula series."
According to reports that first appeared in specialist German motorsports site Motorsport-Total.com
late on Friday afternoon, iSport is seeking to sell its GP2 assets to an interested third party in the hope that the core of the team might be able to continue racing under new ownership.
Talks reportedly began on Thursday afternoon. However, with pre-season testing due to start next week at Jerez followed by a second three-day session at Catalunya the following week, time is tight for any rescue operation that will allow a newly constituted team to field any teams and drivers at the first race of the 2013 season calendar in Malaysia on March 24.
What seems certain is that the iSport team in its current incarnation with Jackson at the helm will not be participating. Jackson confirmed that GP2 CEO Bruno Michel was aware of iSport's current financial plight and was supportive of the team's current efforts to sell its assets and transfer its series membership to a new company.
The situation seemingly came to a head when Jackson was unable to land any pay drivers for the forthcoming season with sufficient backing to make a two-car 2013 campaign viable. Industry sources suggest that GP2 teams need drivers with sponsorship in the region of 1.8million euros to cover their full season expenditure.
"We did not find drivers to negotiate contracts with that would have enabled us to ensure participation," Jackson told the website. "My company has no sponsors in the background that can close a shortfall of 500,000 euros," he added.
Jackson explained that iSport is currently solvent and has no outstanding debts, and that he has enough funds to keep going in the short term. However, the balance sheets are not enough to cover a full season's participation in GP2 and therefore Jackson said that it would be irresponsible of him to continue with preparations for racing only to risk going bust mid-season.
"There is no point in committing commercial suicide," he said, adding that he and the team had investigated all possible solutions to try and continue competing.