Recent reports in Spain have suggested that there may be merger talks between the Hispania team, and Epsilon Euskadi, who are aiming to be the 13th team in Formula 1 next year. With doubts over the current Spanish outfit’s outlook for next season, a merger would ensure a Spanish team stays in the sport.
Epsilon Euskadi principal Joan Villadelprat is reportedly in merger talks with Hispania
The Spanish news site EFE is claiming that Epsilon Euskadi chief Joan Villadelprat is considering two options. One is to simply enter as the 13th team, provided the FIA select them as the optimum candidate. The other is to merge with Hispania. It is unknown at this time whether Epsilon Euskadi would prefer to merge or enter on their own.
According to EFE, Villadelprat asked Hispania team owner, Jose Ramon Carabante, “what Hispania needs, what Epsilon can offer and if there is the possibility of collaboration”. Carabante has reportedly responded by saying that Epsilon Euskadi’s infrastructure would rank in the top 5 of the F1 teams, but they lack €17m in investment to enter F1 alone.
The idea of a merger makes very good sense actually, as Euskadi have amazing technological facilities, seeing as they construct Le Mans Prototype machines, but I had already noted that financial investment was lacking, as well as a shortage of sponsors. On the other hand, Hispania have no technical facilities or experience, after their split with chassis constructor Dallara, but they have a handful of sponsors, mostly brought on board by Sakon Yamamoto.
Personally, I think a merger would work well, but if Yamamoto keeps his seat next year to secure sponsor investment, then it’s a completely different story. Also, if Euskadi were to enter F1 this way, then the battle for the 13th slot would lack any convincing entries.
On the other hand, if Epsilon Euskadi were to enter alone, and Hispania collapsed, then F1 would be back to 12 teams again after all their efforts. Although having said that, the idea of losing Hispania isn’t exactly worrying.