Tag Archives: Joan Villadelprat

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.

Epsilon Euskadi looking for 2011 grid spot

Joan Villadelprat

Joan Villadelprat

Joan Villadelprat, the head of the Epsilon Euskadi team, has said that his squad is aiming to get into Formula 1 next year from 2011, after failing in its attempts last year.

While Epsilon Euskadi was on the shortlist for the 2010 grid spot, the place eventually went to the completely incompetent USF1, who promptly bottled it, and retracted their entry a week before the first race. The lack of time meant that no other team could be picked in time. However, Villadeprat is hopeful that his team can mount a more successful challenge for next year:

"We were ready in June, we had the financial support, but for whatever reasons 
we were not chosen.

We will reopen the project and my job is to re-gather all of the support that 
we had. If the FIA gives us enough time to be ready for next year, we can be in F1."

Villadelprat is not to be taken lightly, having been working for no less than 5 F1 teams over his lifetime. At the moment, his team works in the Le Mans Series, World Series by Renault, and the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup. They have also worked with many well-known drivers like Robert Kubica, Brandon Hartley, Jaime Alguersuari and Albert Costa. Like Stefan GP, they have good resources behind them, but it will still be down to the FIA to decide who gets the spot.

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