Since this season’s no-show from USF1, their slot on the grid has been coveted by many aspiring teams from the lower rungs of single seater racing, from Formula 3 to GP2. And when FIA gave out the invitation to join the Formula 1 circus next year, these teams took the chance to throw their names into the hat.
Among them would be French team ART Grand Prix, a joint venture between Frédéric Vasseur and Nicolas Todt (son of FIA boss Jean). The outfit is based in France, and currently competes in the GP2 series. Current F1 stars such as Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Sebastien Buemi have all raced for this team before.
Also in the list is Italian team Durango. They were a GP2 team that also raced in Le Mans, the British Formula 2 Championship and Renault Formula 2. Durango dropped out of GP2 at the end of last year due to financial issues, but boss Ivone Pinton had apparently found deep pocketed new backers for this F1 push.
Other speculative entrants include the American Cypher Group, a collection of Formula 1 engineers seeking to form a US based team. Cypher is hoping to accumulate a sufficient budget to be able to submit an application to FIA. While the team has ex USF1 staff, they are distancing themselves from Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor’s failed attempt to join F1.
These three hopefuls surely have a confidence that Lola and Prodrive lack, despite the fact that it’s not easy to be thrown into the deep end of the pool and be competitive.