Brabham Grand Prix?
Rumours, started at Motorsport Aktuell, are circulating that Formtech boss Franz Hilmer, whose company bought the former Arrows and Super Aguri factory at Leafield and the Japanese team’s remaining assets, submitted his 2010 entry under the Brabham Grand Prix name, as he has acquired the naming rights of the former championship-winning team. This follows the news that another famous F1 name, March, has been entered into the 2010 championship. Both teams last competed in F1 in 1992, and although tried to continue into 1993, failed to do so. However, Autosport’s Dieter Rencken wrote in his Weekly Grapevine column (subscription only) that Hilmer, along with iSport and RML, had not submitted an entry. Time will tell as to who is right.
Rencken also wrote that it was believed that Epsilon Euskadi and Nick Wirth did submit entries, the latter in conjunction with none other than the Captain himself, Roger Penske – presumably this is the 2nd American entry Bernie was talking about. Penske has unfinished business in F1, after quitting after the 1976 season despite winning the Austrian GP that year with John Watson. The team was largely still in shock from the death of lead driver Mark Donohue at the Osterreichring one year before. Since then, the team has gone on to win just about everything in the US racing scene, including most recently the Daytona 500 and Sebring 12 Hours in 2008 and a 15th Indy 500 just over a week ago. The team currently runs in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the IRL IndyCar Series and, as of this season, the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
So here’s the current list of confirmed/rumoured new entries:
Campos Meta1 (in conjunction with Dallara)
Brabham (by Formtech)
Superfund (in conjunction with an unnamed British-based constructor)
Penske (in conjunction with Wirth Research)
With Williams added, that’s 11 entries. Rencken reckons there were 16 entries. So how about those FOTA entries that have already signed contracts in the past cementing them in F1 until 2012, namely Ferrari, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Force India? That makes 15. So who’s the other one?
Clearly this implies that the current teams’ entries are indeed invalid as suggested by Pitpass earlier this week. Either that or it all doesn’t add up. A confusing situation as ever