Nascent F1 outfit Stefan GP have been forced to cancel a planned test of their car at the Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal after failing to secure a deal with Bridgestone for tyres.
The Serbian team had planned to run their machine at the track in preparation for their arrival at Bahrain for the grand prix, where they hope to be granted last-minute permission to race despite not having an official entry.
But Bridgestone is only contracted to supply F1-spec tyres to teams with an official entry, and logistical issues prevented them from bringing GP2 rubber to the test.
“We cannot do the test at the moment and we are still trying to find a solution,” team boss Zoran Stefanovic told AUTOSPORT. “We have no tyres and will not test on tyres that are not suitable for the car to go testing at full speed.
“We now need to see what our options are, but we definitely need to do something to sort this situation out.”
But the Serbian team are well on their way with car development and signing drivers and would be ready to race in the event that another entrant had problems, Stefanovic confirmed.
“We have already agreed terms with [Kazuki] Nakajima, and we expect to conclude a deal with [Jacques] Villeneuve. We think it is a good decision for us, and it makes sense for him.”
“We are expecting that the situation will be clarified soon,” he said. “Everybody knows that some teams are facing certain problems, and we are looking to clarify this situation.”