Lopez to Lose F1 Seat in 2010

Another Formula One season will pass without an Argentine driver competing in the Great Circus. According to several media reports in the South American country, Jose Maria Lopez' negotiations for a race switch from US F1 and Campos Grand Prix have failed, as the deadline for reaching an agreement has expired over the last weekend.

According to the Clarin daily, it seems that Lopez' financial backing from the Argentine government wasn't enough to secure him a seat with Campos Grand Prix, as the Spanish outfit decided to offer their vacant seat – alongside Bruno Senna – to Indian racer Karun Chandhok.

Team principal Colin Kolles himself admitted that the negotiations with Chandhok's management are in the final phase, and expects a deal to be reached within the next few days (that report appeared on Friday). Although it was initially believed that Senna's seat would be thrown into contention due to lack of (many) sponsors, it seems the Spanish team doesn't want to oust the Brazilian driver ahead of the Bahrain GP.

The problem with Lopez' plans is that the Argentine backers have already paid his initial team US F1 some $1 million in advance for his seat, which is now as good as money down the drain. The Charlotte based outfit is unlikely to take part in the 2010 Formula One season – since they've lost the majority of their sponsors – and a merger with Stefan GP has reportedly failed in recent days.

This is a great disappointment for us, because we were sold a seat (with USF1) that was not there,” his father is quoted as saying by Clarin, as reported by the GMM news agency.

Even if the discussions between US F1 and Stefan GP do materialize into a joint venture – which is highly unlikely – the Serbian outfit is believed to have already decided on their potential 2010 lineup, in the persons of Kazuki Nakajima and Jacques Villeneuve.
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