ART Grand Prix has announced that it has called off its bid to enter Formula 1 in 2011.
The multiple GP2 and Formula 3 champion team had been tipped as one of the leading contenders for the "13th slot" in the field for next year's World Championship, but has concluded that in the present economic circumstances it cannot go ahead with the project.
It emphasized that it still intended to reach F1 eventually, and that the team would continue in the junior categories. It currently races in GP2, GP3 and F3.
"ART Grand Prix has decided to withdraw its application to the International Federation of Automobiles (FIA) to take part in the 2011 Formula One World Championship," said a statement from ART.
"The team has been working for several months on this ambitious project that they had undertaken with determination and lucidity.
"ART Grand Prix had forged strong bonds with several technical and financial partners but with unfavorable economic conditions they could not gather the necessary guarantees to ensure the stability of the project in the long term. Therefore, the company will have to postpone its project until a later date, however it remains completely focused and dedicated to the other single-seater championships in which it is successfully involved."
ART co-owner Nicolas Todt had previously said that while the team was working on an F1 bid, it would only commit to the top level if it was absolutely certain that the project was viable.
"Realistically, I think it won't be easy to take part in the 2011 F1 championship, because it's not easy to set up a program with very high costs," Todt told Italian magazine Autosprint in May. "In light of this, I didn't want to make bold statements over something that still needs to be defined. If we don't make it, then it won't be a drama.
"We'll carry on working over this project, and if it doesn't happen next year, then we'll try again in the future."