Stefanovic: We know we could do it

© Ubaid Parkar, 17 July 2010
Zoran Stefanovic (R) during the announcement of the Stefan Technology Park © StefanGP.com

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fter an unsuccessful bid to compete in this year's Formula 1 championship, Zoran Stefanovic has stepped up again and is hoping to participate in the 2011 season. In an exclusive chat with F1Pulse.com, the Stefan GP boss discusses his plans.

What are your prospects in regards to your entry in F1 in 2011?

We have applied for the entry. We are not going to disclose anything before we know the outcome of the whole process and that’s going to be by the end of August, according to the FIA. A lot of people are saying that it will be done in a shorter time - by the end of July - but it’s at the end of August.

Where would you be operating the team from?

From Belgrade. And we will have a base in England for the first year. In the meantime, we are preparing the technology park over here (in Belgrade). We are planning during the 2011 season that we will be in Belgrade by the end of year.

Would the chassis be an upgraded version of the Toyota F110 chassis?

© StefanGP.com

No. The Toyota option is not possible because the rules have changed so we are building a new monocoque. We know we have to build our own chassis and it’s underway anyway. We are in the process of designing the car and we will be building it by the end of September.

Which engines have you opted for?

We spoke with four different engine manufacturers. And we’ll be applying and using Cosworth. We think they are a viable option. It has the potential to be in the front of the grid. There is no doubt now with what Williams has shown. What is also very important is that it is a reliable company with a long history and it has the expertise. We are proud of that and subscribe to it.

To what extent is the Serbian government supporting this project?

They have been supporting us all the time. Its not only about money, it’s about various kinds of support. There have been there from the beginning.

Is the Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA) involved in the project too?

No. That comes from people who don’t understand the system so they are talking about something which is not true. But that’s okay. People are trying to figure it out but obviously we cannot believe in everything.

On the website, there are a number of drivers listed as potentials for a seat…

Yes, they were involved earlier and we spoke to several of them. There were 38 drivers involved in all for 2010 and of those 30 managers came to Belgrade. We have something that is close to be done but it’s not for the public. We need a special occasion to do so.

What about the Formula 1 circuit outside Belgrade. Is that still on the cards?

Goran Jovic, Mayor of Stara Pazova, (L) and Zoran Stefanovic © StefanGP.com

We are doing that separately from what we are doing about the team. It’s a separate project and it started more than two years ago. By the end of the year - in the autumn - we will start building this. It is something which is already designed but we are now redesigning some parts. We think instead of the 3538 metres and 57 cms, which is the exact the length of the track, we will be probably be going for about 4.2 to 4.3kms. But it is in the design process. It’s all going on as per schedule as we have from the beginning of this year.

There were quite a few people rumoured or linked with Stefan GP at the start of the year; Colin Kolles, Mike Coughlan, Phil Adey and Dave Ryan. Where do they stand now?

Kolles was not associated with the team. Mike Coughlan was involved but he is not anymore. He is working for some American company. I think he is not related to motorsport anymore. About Phil Adey and Dave Ryan, I don’t know. They were never involved.

How confident are you in obtaining entry for next year?

I wouldn’t say like how people can say what exactly is going to happen. From our side we know we could do it on every aspect but it’s up to the FIA. It’s a situation which is not predictable. If you ask me honestly, we don’t care because if FIA didn’t see the potential what we are doing and that we could do it properly, then that is their way. But we think we are fully capable of doing it. The perspective is much better to having something from Eastern part of Europe rather than having a team which is going around in circles.

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