Bernie Ecclestone is pushing for Stefan GP to receive an entry to race this season, and sees Ralf Schumacher as an ideal driver for the team.
Headed by the Serbian millionaire Zoran Stefanovic, Stefan has set up camp at the departed Toyota’s Cologne factory, and is ready to race the 2010 Toyota chassis and engine.
Because Toyota has withdrawn from F1, both car and engine would be rebadged as ‘Stefan’, and 2008 and 2009 driver Kazuki Nakajima is lined up to take one of the race seats.
Plans to test later this month in Portugal are already in place, and equipment will be sent to the Bahrain season opener, despite Stefan not having an official team entry.
But F1 chief executive Ecclestone told Germany’s Sport Bild: “I do not believe in the participation of USF1 and Campos.
“Instead, I have good contact with Stefan and am trying to get this team a starting place,” said the 79-year-old Briton.
“Ralf Schumacher would be an ideal driver for them. He has experience, he knows the team,” added Ecclestone.
Schumacher, 34, raced his last three years in F1 for Toyota, and has expressed a desire to join his older brother Michael in launching a comeback this season.
Neither Stefan GP nor the German driver have confirmed contact, but it is reported that former Midland, Spyker and Force India team boss Colin Kolles is involved with the Stefan project.
So too is the former McLaren designer and ‘spygate’ conspirator Mike Coughlan, and it is also believed that long-time McLaren team manager and ‘liegate’ conspirator Dave Ryan is involved.