Epsilon Euskadi begin wind tunnel tests

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Joan Villadelprat, president of 2011 F1 team candidates Epsilon Euskadi, has confirmed they have begun testing a wind tunnel model of the car they hope to race in Formula 1 next year.

Villadelprat told the team’s website:

The model was designed, CFD tests were carried out and, finally, a few weeks ago the model was built. We have been conducting wind tunnel tests since.

The reason why we decided to do it is very simple. We believe in our F1 project but, if we were to be minimally prepared, we couldn’t wait until the FIA’s decision would be announced. It would have been too late to start. If we would be given the license now and have to have the car ready for next year, we would definitely struggle. But if we hadn’t had even started with wind tunnel tests, it would be impossible.

We made our bet and all the progress we make is and will be useful, at least, to keep building on experience and know how.
Joan Villadelprat

The FIA are expected to announce which team will get the 13th and final place on the grid for 2011 soon.

Villadelprat, who has worked in F1 for McLaren, Ferrari, Prost and Benetton, played down reports his team could merge with the other Spanish squad already in F1, HRT:

The truth is that these rumours have no foundation whatsoever. Epsilon has its own Formula 1 project and so does Hispania.

What I said was that Mr. Carabante and I were interested in having a conversation to see if there would be any possible of collaboration. Always keeping in mind the nature of our company and provided that there wouldn’t be any conflict of interests.
Joan Villadelprat

Read more: 2011 F1 drivers and teams

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Epsilon Euskadi begin wind tunnel tests”

  1. Even if they don’t get the spot on the calendar, it might be of help in offering his services to HRT instead!
    I suppose it will be less expensive a deal than going with Toyota for HRT.

  2. I think that of all the prospective teams, Epsilon would be the best fit for Formula 1. I know a lot of people are excited at the prospect of Villeneuve making the grid, but I never had any love for JV.

    1. I think so as well. All other teams (as far as we know) face an uphill battle of building a technological basis while already having to build the car or must use some kind of development partner.

      Might be Villedeprat counts on being able to use their CFD and windtunnel work anyhow, even if they don’t make it.

      They could be in the running with Toyota (expensive) and Dallarra (not much of a reference with the HRT car) to actually build the car for Stepan or Villeneuve, not to mention possibliy partnering with HRT anyway.

    2. I don’t care who joins, the more the merrier!

      Whether they fit is none of my concern, I just wish them the best and I hope there is no collateral damage.

      F1 is as much a party as it is a race, its not a data spreadsheet, although some of us F1 fans have lost sight of that in the last few years.

  3. Well, they must be sure that HRT will drop out, because I would be extremely surprised if they actually get the slot, simply because even though FOM has no actual force in deciding the team, I would bet everything that their word has still weight and a Serbian (Stefan Grand Prix) or even a North American team (Cypher or Villeneuve F1) would be of way bigger marketing value for them than another Spanish (and don’t come with Pays Basque, please) one, so they might be the most promising entry, but they just have chosen the wrong place to be, even though that may sound cynical.

  4. They certainly seem like the best fit, and experience in the Le Mans series must count for a bit I’m sure.
    And the fact they already have a basic design, AND F1 standard facilities (which would be near impossible for any outfit to have from the off) speaks for itself.

    I can imagine for them it’s a matter of funding now.

    I might be alone but I do like Jacques, And I’d like to see him back, but not necessarily as a driver.
    But the history of ex-driver owners is, well, not great, Prost and Stewart teams had potential, but in the end, Money talks.

    1. The fact that this group are already testing CFD sourced designs in their own wind tunnel really tells you all you will ever need or want to know about the FIA “process” of selection.

      HRT and USF1 both entered as teams with no facilites, no expertise and no manufacturing capability. The folly of granting those teams slots on the grid has now shown through, and you can be sure that having been forced to hand over money to keep HRT going this year, with no realistic prospect of them continuing next year, Bernie is going to have them out on their ear. Whether that’s via a face saving merger of “interests” with Epsilon, or just selling the place out to them, doesn’t matter. HRT are gone next year, mark my words.


  5. Well they look to be the most serious and best contender for the place. And Max Mosley is no longer part of the selection process, so it’s possibly a more rational process then before… they should have a fair chance.

    I think Stephan GP would be the most fun though…

    And it would be nice to see what happens if someone actually builds on that Toyota concept

    1. Yeah, I hope someone gets the Toyota. It’s a shame they didn’t just let Stefan run it this year when USF1 went bust. Would’ve been interesting to see how that car did.

      1. Even more of a shame, that USF1 were to stubborn to take it.

        Stepan GP was supported by a “group of companies” with net income of some 3500 USD a year. Not really the guy being able to make it work.

        1. Yeah, that’s a bit infuriating, not only would they have made the grid, but they’d have made it with at least a mid pack car, and possibly a contender if they’d signed any decent driver. I’m glad we’ll never see Ken Anderson in F1 again.

  6. I think it’s ridiculous how slow the FIA are in announcing these decisions. Not helpful and causes a feedback loop – teams aren’t given enough time to prepare, do a poor job and look bad, makes the FIA take even more time to pick the next one…rinse and repeat.

    1. It is getting a bit ridiculous. Weren’t they originally going to make the announcement a lot earlier?

      1. The original press release stated that the decision would be taken in July 2010.


        Apparently they are close to announcing the 13th team in August so they would be (at least) a month overdue.

        1. It will probably be after the 7th of September, after the World Council votes on it before the Monza weekend. Maybe even later, so that makes it about 2 months overdue.

          1. I thought it was supposed to be July. They’re trying as hard as they can to make the new team fail… Wonder if they’re still picking a runner up as they stated before. If HRT goes bust we could have 2 new teams next year.

    2. I think it’s ridiculous how slow the FIA are in announcing these decisions. Not helpful and causes a feedback loop – teams aren’t given enough time to prepare, do a poor job and look bad, makes the FIA take even more time to pick the next one…rinse and repeat.

      I suspect you will find the FIA is trying to avoid a situation arising where we have a repeat of USF1. Back when it was obvious USF1 were not going to make it, Nick Wirth said that Wirth Research had signed off on Manor/Virgin’s final design by the end of the August and that anyone who had taken much longer than that would struggle. I think you’ll find that the entry bid process was revised for this season, with the FIA requesting that prospective entrants submit a final car design – not so that they could see how competitive the team would be if they made it, but so that they knew the teams had a clearly-defined path for the rest of the year.

      It’s exactly how I’d do it.

      1. Possibly you are absolutely right about the FIA motives for making this a late desicion and having other teams drop out before.

        Trouble with that is, USF1 actually had their design pretty much finished by late August as well. Only after that Andersen kept everyting on his desk and they never actually got to building parts in time to have a car ready.

  7. http://willthef1journo.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/durango-f1-dont-make-me-laugh/

    Hmmm. It’s an old post, but certainly worthy of consideration. I don’t think the Villeneuve name would make people forget these things.

    And Villeneuve was never that great, anyway. Sure, he won the 1997 World Championship, but look at some of his other results – he scored more points in 1998 than he did in the period from 1999 to his retirement.

    1. I saw that at the time as well. Seems they would have had a very hard job convincing anyone without Villeneuve.

      And only about 10 days ago i saw Villeneuve commenting on them and “confirming” that Gadaffi’s son is not involved as an investor. But he went on to confirm there’s money from “a libian corporate investor” involved, which may be exactly the same thing.

      I would like Villeneuve to show us some great driving (like some of those NASCAR drives recently), but after his BAR years and his driving at both Renault and BMW-Sauber i find it hard to believe he will shine. So maybe it’s better if this team just fails to get to the grid altogether.

  8. Stefan GP did a similar sort of things that without getting the permission from the FIA they started to send things in the Bahrain GP this season.I hope whoever gets the 13th slot then have some good pace with them.

    1. The difference between Stefan and Epsilon is that there is a possibilty Epsilon could join the grid. They’ve decided to press on with developing the car so they’ll have a head-start. Villadelprat has said that the team is expecting an announcement on the 30th – the day after the Belgian Grand Prix (makes sense; Manor, Campos and USF1 wee announced the day after the 2009 British Grand Prix) – so they’re a) no doubt feeling confident, and b) not wasting a lot of time and resources develpng a car only to find out it’s unuseable six months down the track.

    2. But first of all, Stefan GP never really had the funds nor the team base to build up a team.
      And it was confirmed afterwards, that the only things they sent to Bahrain were office furnuture etc, no real car parts. It was some kind of hoax.

  9. I think the 2011 formula one season is gonna be off the hook…I enjoyed watching every race this season and can’t wait til next year. I am appy to see new drivers coming up it brings a new feel to the sport…round 2 rbr

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