ART Grand Prix Has Submitted F1 Entry Bid for 2011
"Yes, we have applied to join the world championship in 2011," Frederic Vasseur, co-founder ART Grand Prix, confirmed to French magazine Auto Hebdo.
The other co-founder of the team is Nicolas Todt, son of FIA president Jean Todt and manager of the Ferrari driver Felipe Massa. Besides racing in the GP2, ART Grand Prix is also present in F3 Euroseries and GP3.
The deadline for the expressions of interest for the 13th vacant place on the 2011 F1 grid passed on April 15, and the FIA is expected to reach a final decision by July.
"We did not want to confirm our willingness to engage in Formula One until now, to best prepare for this very complex issue and not compromise our current activities," Vasseur added. The Frenchman also said the existing F1 teams have been informed of ART Grand Prix’s intentions and added that he has "good relationships with Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault".
As for the engine choice should its application be accepted, the ART co-founder said the team hasn’t yet decided which supplier to choose. "The choice of engine is not yet defined," Vasseur said. According to Auto Hebdo magazine, other teams bidding for the last place on the 2011 starting grid are Epsilon Euskadi, Durango and Stefan GP.
ART Grand Prix’s GP2 team previously employed current F1 stars Nico Rosberg of Mercedes GP and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton. Both won the GP2 title in 2005 and 2006 respectively. In 2009, ART Grand Prix also won the driver’s title with Williams F1 Team’s current driver Nico Hulkenberg.