The story of Stefan GP
Whilst catching up on what I’ve missed over the last fortnight, the story that has caught my eye today is that of Stefan GP, who are the first of the 2010 entries to take the FIA to court over the selection process. This Serbian outfit is backed by engineering firm AMCO and led by AMCO exec and racing nut Zoran Stefanovic (from whom the name is derived) The name instantly rang a bell – they originally made a bid to enter F1 in 1998…using the 1997 Lolas! Perhaps a blessing they didn’t make it – an obscure Yugoslavian team buying the slowest modern F1 cars ever (that would’ve needed modifications to run with the new rules as well!) just sounds like a recipe for disaster.
So I was amazed to read that Stefanovic still harbours ambitions of making it into F1. And I was even more amazed to read that their new chief designer was none other than former McLaren designer Mike Coughlan. He has unsurprisingly been hiding away ever since he was discredited in the Spygate saga, and has seemingly been waiting for some wacky, obscure team to request his services. And now that is just what has happened.
Stefanovic actually seems to believe they have a credible operation with “facilities, windtunnels and people”, including other experienced staff members, and reckons they are “good enough to be a serious contender in F1″…well, you can’t fault his optimism, but methinks it might be a bit overambitious. Just a bit. But more important is the impending court case, and not just for Stefan GP. Other outfits such as Prodrive, Lola and N.Technology will be anxiously looking on to see if the FIA is found out for not handling the entry process fairly, i.e. for stipulating new entries had to have a Cosworth engine deal. If they are found to have been unfair, there could be fireworks…