Changes at Campos put Kolles in charge

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Jose Roman Carabante (left) has taken over from Adrian Campos
Jose Roman Carabante (left) has taken over from Adrian Campos

The widely-rumoured troubles at Campos have finally materialised with the confirmation that Jose Ramon Carabante has taken over the team.

Carabante, previously a shareholder in the team, has replaced founder Adrian Campos in charge of the Spanish entry. Colin Kolles returns to F1 to take over from Campos as team principal and managing director.

According to Adam Cooper, who revealed several details of the impending deal yesterday, US F1 driver Jose Maria Lopez is in the frame to join Bruno Senna at the team as US F1’s entry has hit trouble.

That could pave the way for Stefan GP to take US F1’s place as the 13th team in the sport.

Kolles has previously run F1 operations at Jordan, Midland and Force India. The team still plans to be at the F1 season opener at Bahrain, the first practice session of which is now just three weeks away.

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Keith Collantine
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  • 69 comments on “Changes at Campos put Kolles in charge”

    1. Heard it here first!!!!

    2. “That could pave the way for Stefan GP to take US F1’s place as the 13th team in the sport.”

      This is a good thing, whoever ends up on the grid, I want the full quota of 13 teams as the FIA said there would be.

      THis ssems like the best way of doing it, Jose can bring his sponsorship money from USF1, adding to the bank balance, and Stefan GP can quite rightly take up the now vacant 13th spot, if indeed it is vacant.

    3. Looks like Villenueve is going to Stefan GP :)

    4. Would rather have USF1 on the grid instead of Stefan GP to be honest.

      But having 13 teams is the most important thing.

      1. Why?

        At least Stefan has a car, USF1 has nothing.

        That’s why they signed Lopez. Why on earth a team would insist for so long (rumours here started in late september) with a driver that hasn’t driven a Formula car since 2006? Why? why Peter Windsor said so many good things about Lopez? because he didn’t have another option.

        Why would someone choose Lopez, someone who barely has money, who isn’t brilliant as a driver, that comes from a country with a very limited market to sell the idea?

        And why they took so long to sign him?

        That raises more questions than answers. The Charlotte based team wanted to enter F1 the hard way, and that’s what they got. A very hard way to realise such thing is impossible with a tiny budget.

        1. Lopez may not be the best driver around, but you could hardly claim he ‘barely has money’… apparently he has about $10 million from Argentina, which seems pretty substantial to me

        2. Lopez might be a somewhat odd choice, but he seems to have some talent. After all, he totally destroyed his teammate in GP2 and said teammate now has a deal as reserve driver for Lotus.

        3. How do you know that USF1 has nothing? I don’t think anyone outside of USF1 knows for sure!

        4. You kniw, if Lopez joins Campos, I bet there will be so little criticism of Campos for hiring (another) pay driver compared to the stick USF1 got.

          1. They said Senna isn’t paying them any money, something I cant believe as they need money but either way Senna deserved a seat it was just a pity he got it with a new team not an established one.

    5. Kolles doesn’t exactly have what you’d call a sterling record of success on the track though. Re-investing in the team doesn’t necessarily follow that there needs to be management re-organisation, unless the Team Principal is simply not up to the job. But is he going to be worse than Kolles, who ran Jordan into a downward spiral, and went nowhere with its next two incarnations? Force India openly attribute a lot of their success to the removal of Kolles and the addition of Simon Roberts as a team manager, who turned the staff and the organisation of the team around. Kolles’ major acheivement as a senior manager in F1 appears to have been doing dental surgery before races. This makes him more useful than some others, but not by much.

      Campos must have been doing a lot wrong to make Kolles look like a better option.

      1. Ran Jordan into a downward spiral? Jordan was already defunct, kolles was brought in when they were Midland. Midland didn’t really invest in the team and sold out to Spyker who then went bankrupt and sold out to ForceIndia.

    6. Looks like Senna will make Bahrain which is the best news to come out of this.

      Does this mean that they will still be called Campos even though Adrain Campos isnt involved anymore?

      1. Surely not! I can’t think of many alternatives though. Carabante GP perhaps, or even simply Dallara?

        Then again, mabye a sponsor will buy the naming rights. If Lopez does sign for them, he will bring money from Argentina…. so I suppose it’s not inconceivable that they could call the team something like Argentina F1.

      2. The team can only change its name at this stage if all the other teams agree. That’s why Jordan remained Jordan for 2005 even though EJ wasn’t involved anymore – it was too late for the team to change it.

      3. is campos still involved or not?

    7. As I just wrote somewhere else, whats so great about this? A shareholder bought the whole outfit. There’s no confirmation of any new sponsors or funding or anything. And, imho, Colin Kolles is as useless as slicks in the wet.

    8. aaaaaaarrrrgggggggg….USF1 seems gone for good? (probably news to no one but me)

      Insufficient US demand…the old saw is true again…you’ll never go broke underestimating the sophistication of the American public.

    9. who´s the right guy, al pacino?

      1. What an amazing coment!! You must be a philosopher at least.

    10. Wow, you lot have written off USF1 … on the basis of Bernie and a twitter report? I’m waiting for something more concrete.

      1. There’s also a report in the NY Times and
        a few other respected sources. Oh, and the silence from the team, and the bit about not having a car yet.

        1. Exactly. Silence from the team. That’s all really we have to go on. I spent enough time doing IT support for large publishing companies to know they rewrite other people’s articles at a the drop of a hat. I’m cynical enough to demand a lot more info than rewritten from someone elses’ blog articles.

          1. So with no car to show for, you are going to take their “unwritten word” for it?

            Sure they might suddenly produce a car within 3 weeks and put it on the grid with no testing. What are the odds of that happening though?

            1. That is not my point at all and you know it. My point is that without hard facts verified by others (including say, a statement from the team itself), we have utterly nothing to go on apart from speculation. I’d like a little more than that.

              (I’ve seen firsthand how a fairly major UK publishing company scours internet sites and rival publications looking for stories. The usual procedure is for these to be rewritten and published, usually without verification. Believe me this practice is utterly rife which is why until there’s a USF1 statement or other form of physical evidence i’m just not believing anything good or bad.)

            2. Yeah, right! The team will come up front and say: gotcha! USF1 is not out, because they never where in! And it´s good that it remains that way. Long live F1! Stephan GP, wellcome!

          2. Don’t forget their star driver knows the status of the team, and he didn’t like what he saw and pulled out. Does a company communicate with only a website? what happened to phone calls, text messages and emails. A major organization is sending twitter messages or perhaps just a twitter message in 2months.:-)

    11. I’d be really sorry not to see USF1, since I’m in the States myself. But what I would *really* like to see is Lopez on the grid one way or another. He left the European circuit some years back for lack of money, but is an absolute standout talent. Last year he competed in three championships in parallel. He won two of them and came second in the third, which he would have won had the car immediately in front of him not dumped an engineful of oil in his path during the last race of the year. It’s true those cars are not sophisticated, but Lopez also has tens of thousands of kilometers driving Renault F1s as a tester. If he gets his chance I think some here may get a surprise!

      1. I’ve got a feeling that Lopez might do pretty well too. I’m not entirely sure what it’s based on, I just think he’s probably better than his GP2 results suggested. I think he might ‘do a Kobayashi’- ie be much better in F1 than he was in GP2

      2. all surprises wecome

    12. Aleksandar Serbia
      19th February 2010, 21:12

      As a Serb i am really happy to hear the news, but i cannot be skeptical about the entry of our maiden team, Bernie’s blessings are not substantial, and lacking of testing may see Stefan Gp look ridiculous, as they burn rubber on the first race.
      My only concern is the car, changes of the forthcoming season are drastic and just a modest revision of the car is not suitable, since the effect of no pit stop takes place.
      I hope the team has made those necessary changes to the car, because gambling on luck with the setting purely on just large tank and longer chassis is really not a option this moment!
      Zoran is not having any right now and if Fia has its way, it will allow an extension to those fund troubled teams and put Stefan on sidetrack!
      Fia is not a charity case and Burger land has much more money and appeal than a small country from the Balkans!
      This is the first major opportunity for F1 to invite US into the mix and bring some sponsors in which will after the team makes some headlines put even more Burger eyes to F1 and consequently make way for US sponsors to other F1 teams.
      So in that regard i wouldn’t be surprised even if they sack Stefan even if they make it to Bahrain and others don’t!
      If this was the case with some other county, Stefan would already be testing in Jerez!

      1. I don’t think that USF1 will help F1 to become more popular in the USA, at least not in the short term. And this is all that Bernie care about.
        It looks like that the serbian government is willing to invest in Stefan GP, so here is one more country willing to pay Bernie a huge load of money…

        1. Aleksandar Serbia
          19th February 2010, 21:59

          Bernie is not the one to decide Fia is!
          They cannot make the grid if Fia doesn’t approve!

          1. Yes, but Bernie has publicly favored Stefan GP over USF1 and Campos, so he is clearly lobbying for Stefan (and the money).
            i think that the only chance for SGP to make the grid is to buy USF1’s entry. For a 13th team to be approved it is very likely that all the other teams have to agree, something that’s not gonna happen.

            1. Prisoner Monkeys
              20th February 2010, 1:32

              Um, Bernie doesn’t get any money out of Stefan. In actuality, he pays them. FOM are giving ten million dollars to cover the costs of transporting equipment for all of the new teams this year.

            2. Prisoner Monkeys, I wouldn’t be so sure Bernie isn’t getting any money out of Stefan. From how he’s acted from even just before their deal with Toyota was announced, its been pretty obvious that Bernie was trying to kill sponsorship deals and cause existing sponsors to back out on Campos and USF1. It seemed very strange for him to be doing this, unless he wanted one or both to fail. As soon as the Stefan purchase came to light it all made sense. Bernie wanted at least one of those teams not to make the grid so that Stefan could have a slot. Considering that Bernie’s main (perhaps only) motivation in anything has been money, it seems likely that he is getting some kind of compensation for helping to open up a grid slot for Stefan. Since nothing in F1 is ever straight forward you can’t just look for a direct payment from Stefan to FOM or Bernie, its far more likely that they will do a sweatheart deal with one of Bernie’s other business interests. We won’t know how the pay off will be made until it happens, but I completely guarantee that somehow Bernie is going to get paid a substantial amount from Stefan if they get a grid slot.

      2. Just because its called USF1 deosn’t make it an american operation. And I don’t see how you invite a country to join a sporting event that is severely restricted. America is better of having a decent driver than a team that just embarrasses itself and others.

        1. What’s not American about a team fronted by a man born in Surrey and raised in Australia, with a driver from Argentina, and numerous other key personnel imported from around the world?

          The sad part is I think they could have been successful had they not tried to be the “US Team”. Sadly people in the states don’t care about F1 since they went from having multiple races each year, to only one, to having the US GP fell of the schedule altogether, the final kiss of death for F1 in the states came last year when the Canadian GP wasn’t held either. How do you build interest in that type of environment? The bigger potential interest could have been with the sponsors (ie Coca-Cola, McDonalds, etc.) who have major international presences. The problem here is that they probably wouldn’t want to be associated with a start-up team. Even if they did they probably wouldn’t want to be associated with a team that was branding itself as essentially only-“American”. A team that had started up in Charlotte (or where ever) without a nationalistic identity that survived a couple of years and become something other than the slowest team on the grid, could have done VERY well by attracting these major international deep pocketed sponsors.

    13. The new teams including Virgin looks really shaky and when the races start I think their greatest achievement will be avoiding to be lapped. It’s like having maybe 6 Minardis on the grid. Hope I’m wrong though. Force India was a bit more stable when they came along. And they are developing fast into a midfield or better type of challenger.

      1. I’m guessing you’ve not been following F1 for long… Force India was not a new team – it was a previously successful team, rebranded under new ownership.

        Virgin and Lotus were about 4 seconds off the pace at today’s test. Given that these are brand new teams, designing, building and operating a highly sophisticated F1 car for the first time in a short space of time and not comparing too badly to the other, very well established and often better funded, teams is a major achievement. Lotus in particular have done so from a standing start in just five months.

        Before anyone else pops up and mentions Lola in 1997, bear in mind that the Lola’s finishing qualifying in Melbourne 11 seconds off the pace…night and day different.

        1. Aleksandar Serbia
          19th February 2010, 22:40

          Yp that performance was embarrassing even to the spectator, but what can you expect when somebody stars a tech business with a name that is only suitable for making lolipop or girly boutique.

          1. HounslowBusGarage
            19th February 2010, 23:04

            Aleksandr, I hope that comment was tongue in cheek. Lola cars have been highly successful in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and have an excellent pedigree beyond the 1997 effort. Please follow this link to view their history

            1. Aleksandar Serbia
              19th February 2010, 23:20

              I was a little bit naughty on that one yes, and didn’t mean to stamp on English pride, but in motosport, if you never entered a successful attempt on F1, you are rightly not a peak performer!
              That’s why they want to do it again!
              Mclaren is top of the notch even to the pedigree of Lotus,Jaguar,Bentley,Rolls and Aston, because they are on another technological level, when you see their production line and technology center ,its quite obvious ,what F1 really is.
              F1 is a motosport climb to the moon, and Lola knows that, so in my opinion they are mere observer to greatness in action. I don’t care what a company did 30 years ago, i would never buy just a bag, but innovation yes.

        2. No, not for long, just since 1970. I know very well what the origins of Force India are. You have to know what sustainability means during a F1 season. There will be an enormous difference between well-establish teams and those who has to postpone testing because of lack of spare parts. They cannot react fast enough to different situations that pops up during races. They lack the logistics.

          1. Then you should know that everyone has to start somewhere.

            Force India are able to improve because they started with a solid base (Jordan) and have made sensible investments in what will progress them further. But look at Jordan’s first year, which ended with the team in massive debt and only surviving into 1992 by taking free engines from Yamaha which were so underpowered they were almost worse then nothing.

            A lack of spare parts isn’t unusual at this stage when the focus is on getting a single car running at a test – I doubt McLaren or Ferrari has already built up all the spares it will need during the season. If Virgin or Lotus miss races because of a lack of spares then it’s a sign that something is seriously wrong. But at an early pre-season test it’s nothing to be overly concerned with.

    14. Here’s some late night breaking gossip:

      Campos and USF1 are looking into merging the teams. If so there will be a place for Stefan GP. If so, Jacques Villeneuve might join the team. If that happens, we will have 5 world champions on the grid. As I said, just gossip..

      1. If this is true I would prefer to see Lopez at the team rather than Villeneuve. I think he’s quite a bit better than a lot here seem to think.

      2. That was “late breaking” yesterday.

    15. Prisoner Monkeys
      19th February 2010, 23:17

      I find a few lines of Adam Cooper’s latest blog post significant: Kolles has sad the team name will be changed and that it may be something “Spanish-American”. That leads a hell of a lot of credibility to the notion that Chad Hurley might be investing in them.

      We could see Cabarante-Hurley F1 this season. Cabarante-Hurley? Cabarley? Hurlabante?

    16. USF1 only has a youtube page….. tho it now seems even that is gone as well! so much hype over nothing!
      seems Campos should now make Bahrain grid? best nes as that means Bruno Senna gets his drive still, and he should be in melbourne too!

      1. Nope, their website and YouTube pages are functioning. Just checked them out.

        1. Updated Jan 25th

          1. It was offline earlier. See their twitter page.

      2. Prisoner Monkeys
        19th February 2010, 23:51

        Colin Kolles didn’t confirm whether Senna would be stayin. He was signed for free, with Campos hoping to use his name to attract sponsors – which didn’t happen. If they need money, they may be forced to drop Senna and take pay-drivers like Lopez and Chandhok (in which case it would be a Sanish team run out of Italy by a Romanian team principal with an Argentine and an Indian driver, so if nothing else, Formula 1 is truly multicutural).

        However, if Lopez joins ‘Campos’, it could well be that Hurley and his money will come with him. He probably won’t be getting much of his USF1 investment back, but if he has acquired their licence – and given that he had the most invested in the team, he’d have the most power and therefore first claim to their assets – he could sell it to Stefan, get a good price on it and put that money back into ‘Campos’, which would probably secure Senna’s place unless the team is really desperate.

    17. It’s a good news,now who will pair Senna? & What driver’s line-up will Stefan GP have.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        20th February 2010, 1:30

        Senna is by no means confirmed at ‘Campos’. They may be forced to drop him. Stefan do not have a grid entry, so they do not have drivers.

    18. I think the whole situation what a farce the FIA’s selection process is. These entries were effectively accepted on the promise of money that wasn’t guaranteed. In future, the FIA should be more strict on prospective entrants’ financial situations.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        20th February 2010, 1:21

        No money was guaranteed for any of the teams. Who in their right mind would sign millions of dollars over to a team that stood a pretty good chance of never even being selected?

        1. “We, the undersigned, pledge to sponsor Team X to the amount of $3 million if they are accepted as an entrant to the Formula 1 world championship.”

          A simplistic way of putting it, but there’s the option. I ask, who in their right mind would accept entrants who didn’t even have anything approaching a guarantee of being able to collect the required amount to compete? The usual suspects, it seems. At least Lola and Prodrive would have had a better chance of finding funds, even if that money wouldn’t have been guaranteed and their entries might have also failed.

          The FIA’s selection process would be akin to giving Milton Keynes the Olympics because they pledged to buy all their construction material from one company.

          1. Prisoner Monkeys
            20th February 2010, 4:04

            All of the teams would have had just that (except maybe myf1dream, which was to be funded by fan donations an likely the first one eliminated).

    19. To win American fans, we need a Chad Hurley backed team with Anthony Davidson driving, and call it Hurley-Davidson F1!

    20. Well. Bruno Senna will be in the grid!!!

      1. Don’t count on it !

    21. Well seen as most people seem to be writing USF1 off while Campos look set to race, is it clear what route Stefan GP have to take to make the grid?

      If USF1 refused to admit defeat even though it was obvious they would not make it, would The FIA have to wait until they had missed three races to give their slot to Stefan GP or could they be granted a place from the first race in Bahrain?

      Some people are saying that Stefan GP would need the approval of all the other teams as well as the FIA if they wanted to race, is this true in all cases such as buying USF1’s entry or just replacing them?

      1. Aleksandar Serbia
        20th February 2010, 11:07

        PJA that was my point initially, that the US based team would have a prerogative to Stefan since they could bring more US interest in a couple of years and that means more money.
        Fia is playing the ass licking Burger nation card :(
        Why in the world would you give teams to decide weather Zoran can get in, but allow US on a fly, and this three races free nonsence, what is that?
        If Mclaren were to ask an extension like that Bernie would have no problem in making a laughing stock out of them!
        Stefan GP cannot announce a driver lineup, since they cannot sign anyone, what if they get rejected, those drivers get paychecks for free vacation!
        If the FIA would be fair they would have made a 1 month test deadline and those who do not have the car ready one month before the race, get ejected!
        In that case Zoran would already be testing in Jerez!

    22. Fingers crossed matters get sorted now…

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