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US F1 and Stefan GP reportedly in merger talks

ESPNF1 Staff
February 26, 2010 « Sauber supports young Mexican driver | »
Stefan GP has a car but needs a grid slot © Stefan GP

US F1 and Stefan GP are rumoured to be in merger talks to ensure a thirteenth team is present at the first race of the season in Bahrain.

American broadcaster Speed is reporting that YouTube entrepreneur and US F1 backer Chad Hurley is in talks with Zoran Stefanovic to run Stefan GP's cars under US F1's entry. The solution would neatly bypass the FIA having to open the final grid slot to tender if US F1 fails to overcome its problems.

Opposition is believed to be coming from team principals Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson, who are both still hoping to bring an all-American entry back to life. The FIA sent Charlie Whiting to inspect the team's factory on Wednesday but has not indicated whether it will take any action. However, if US F1 comes under pressure from Hurley, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone - who appears to favour Stefan GP over US F1 - Windsor and Anderson may be left with little choice but to accept the merger.

Stefanovic is confident his team can be ready in time to race in Bahrain, but only if he is receives confirmation of an entry by next Wednesday. 1997 champion Jacques Villeneuve and ex-Williams driver Kazuki Nakajima would likely drive its Toyota-derived cars.