In 2017, several news outlets had spoken with Zoran Stefanovic who was interested again to enter the Formula One with his, Serbian based, Stefan Grand Prix team. Stefan believed he could achieve enough financial backing to finally debut his team In the Formula One. Two years later, there is nog sign of Stefan GP. What happened?
Zoran Stefanovic is one of those entrepreneurs who is willing to enter the Formula One at all costs. It is a passion for a sport I love to see which sadly many in the Formula One lost. As you can read here, Zoran Stefanovic first attempt to enter the Formula One with Stefan Grand Prix dates back to the fall of 1996. When a unknown Serbian consortium was looking to enter the Formula One in 1997 or 1998. The team came close to buy the assets of the folded Lola team.
Several more attempts followed, their attempt for 2010 was probably the best change to appear on the grid. By buying several assets of the folded Toyota team, included the TF110, which was build but never officially raced. At that time the FIA held bids for new teams. I still don’t understand they choose for USF1, Campos Racing and Lotus Racing. Though, that is another story. Stefan tried to appear on the grid in 2011 by a new bid, without success.
Besides a small rumour that Zoran Stefanovic was interested to take over the Catherham team in 2014, it was quiet about Stefan GP. Then in the summer of 2017, several media outlets had spoken with Zoran who was once more ready to do his best to debut in the Formula One with his team.
This time it would not be a Serbian based Formula One team, it would be an Italian based Formula One team with the headquarters in Parma. In Austria, the same year Zoran spoke with Ross Brawn to unfold his plans and idea’s for 2019. In the meantime, the team contracted Enrique Scalabroni for the technical side of the story. As well an agreement was made to use a wind tunnel near their newly HQ in Parma.
To be honest, I forgot all about the 2017 rumours up to recent. So what has happened with Zoran Stefanovic attempt to enter the Formula One in 2019? Clearly, there was no new Italian team on the grid, and there was no Stefan Grand Prix on the grid! In 2018 Ross Brawn told some media outlets that there would be no new teams in the Formula One in 2019. Nor in 2020. It seems the package and documents Zoran showed were not enough to convince to have them let in the Formula One. Probably the financial aspects were a problem as well.
I still believe Stefan Grand Prix should receive a honest chance to enter the Formula One. However, I don’t believe Zoran Stefanovic should give it another shot. Today’s Formula One is not the Formula One any more I used to know. In addition, I don’t believe they are waiting to have a new team in it. Planning to make it an all equal series, which I don’t like at all!