Tag Archives: Jose Ramon Carabanta

Possible merger of Hispania and Epsilon Euskadi?

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

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.

Campos to become Hispania Racing, and Lopez linked with team

Campos Grand Prix, whose name will soon be changed

Campos Grand Prix, whose name will soon be changed

The Spanish media are reporting today that Campos Meta is poised to be renamed as Hispania Racing F1 Team, after the takeover by Jose Ramon Carabante 2 weeks ago. As well as this, Karun Chandhok is still expected to partner Bruno Senna, with Jose Maria Lopez now linked with the reserve seat.

With Adrian Campos no longer involves with the team that has his name on it, a change of team name was imminent. The Spanish news agency EFE is saying that this name change will be implemented before the season starts.

It is also being rumoured that Carabante will present his plans for 2010 in the Victor Vellegas audotorium in Murcia on Thursday. It may be the case that the drivers are confirmed here as well. While they are only rumours, the Lopez story seems to have truth behind it, as Victor Rosso, part of his managment team, explains:

"There are many chances that he will become the reserve driver at
Campos.

"At the moment, Felipe McGough (Manager for López) is finalising
details to release him from his US F1 contract and retrieve his money
- it all now depends on how the termination of the contract goes.

"We have made it clear to the Americans that he should not be treated
like another businessman but instead like a person who has earned that
money thanks to much effort and that, furthermore, this is the last
chance he will have to race in Formula 1."

Carabante and Kolles take over Campos

Campos Grand Prix

Campos Grand Prix

Jose Ramon Carabante (left) and Adrian Campos

Jose Ramon Carabante (left) and Adrian Campos

It has been announced that Jose Ramon Carabante, a previous shareholder in the Campos team, has taken over from Adrian Campos. Colin Kolles takes over from Campos as team principal and managing director.

There are many rumours-probably true- that Jose Maria Lopez is now set to join Bruno Senna at Campos, as the USF1 bid in F1 appears to be on the verge of collapsing. Then, if USF1 fall, Stefan GP would have the way cleared for them to become the 13th team. It seems that everything is falling into place.

Colin Kolles is the former boss of Midland and Spyker, two F1 teams that completely failed after a year. He has also run operations in Jordan and Force India.  However, any F1 experience is good in a team that needs good structure in order to survive.

Carabante said: “I would like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, who worked tremendously to support our efforts to keep the team viable. The whole rescue operation has been a race against time, with the goal having always been to run two competitive cars at the first Grand Prix of the F1 season in Bahrain.”

Kolles said: “I could not resist this tremendous challenge and am very excited to join forces in this new team. Over the next ten days we will review the entire operation, find the extra funding to ensure the team will make the first race in Bahrain, announce the line-up for 2010 in due time and make the operation viable under José Ramon Carabante’s new ownership.”

So it appears to be looking good for Campos. If Lopez (or someone else, there’s pleanty of other good pay drivers around) is announced soon, the team may well make the grid in Bahrain. Now if only they could make it to testing in time…

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