Reports are now being circulated that the fledgling Campos Meta team, well in advance of the 2010 season-opener in Bahrain, might already be for sale. Apparently, team owner and former F1 driver Adrian Campos has not been able to secure sufficient sponsorship to guarantee viability of the team.
As each new team is required to submit a business plan to the FIA as part of its application to join the series, presumably some of the tentative deals Campos had lined up have not panned out.
As reported on ESPNF1.com, a source within the Campos Meta team said, “It is not a secret that we do not have the budget. And time is scarce. If we can find a good investor, we could sell part of the team to them. If necessary we could sell the whole team, but the basic conditions would have to be right.”
In a separate report, it has been revealed that A1GP boss Tony Teixeira is considering a partial buy-in of Campos. Teixeira has been previously linked with buyouts of Super Aguri, Spyker, Toro Rosso and Honda, but none of these came to fruition.
As Teixeira told Autosport in Februrary 2009, “I was one of the guys talking to Honda in the last two weeks. We had done a deal on Spyker, but I let Vijay [Mallya] take it… We then went to Toro Rosso in November and all the [other] teams said ‘no customer cars’ so I had to walk away.”
Teixeira added, “Today I’m in a completely different situation. I’ve built my own cars and designed my own chassis. I have my own factory. So I’m not a customer boss. I can now build my chassis and run with a Ferrari engine. I’m now the same as everyone else.”
The design and construction of Campos Meta’s chassis is currently being outsourced to the independent constructor Dallara Automobili. Dallara currently produces spec chassis for the following series: IndyCar, Indy Lights, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Cars, GP2, GP3, and the World Series by Renault.
If Teixeira could bring either needed funding or technical infrastructure to the team, perhaps they could operate as a full fledged constructor rather than relying on outsourcing. On the other hand, outsourcing might be a model for the future for privateer teams. Virgin Racing is utilizing Nick Wirth’s independent design team for their chassis. While Wirth will have the title as Technical Director for Virgin, he’s essentially operating as a hired vendor out of his own shop, Wirth Research.
While one hopes that Campos Meta are able to get their fiscal house in order prior to the Bahrain opener, if they’re in financial straits this early in the season, it doesn’t bode well for the future viability of the team.
Image by Prokopenya Viktor, released into the pubic domain.