Formula 1 hopeful Epsilon Euskadi has begun wind tunnel model testing of its new car, even though it is still waiting to see if it has been successful in securing the 13th grid slot.
The FIA is expected to announce in the next few weeks which team has been granted the final place on the grid as a replacement for the defunct US F1 Team, which dropped out of F1 before the start of this season.
While waiting on that decision, Epsilon is still chasing long-term funding but it felt it could not delay any longer in making the first work on its car, which has now resulted in the wind tunnel model being run for the first time.
Team owner Joan Villadelprat (left) said, "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. The reason 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 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."
Villadelprat is refusing to take anything for granted about his outfit's chances of success, and admitted that he not yet secured the three years of funding that he would ideally like in place before he moves into grand prix racing.
"The process in which we are currently immersed in is tricky and uncertain. Caution is always the best approach but especially in situations as delicate as the awarding of a Formula 1 license. Given that I am a regular contributor to different media, the questions about Formula 1 are unavoidable and, sometimes, taken out of context. I understand that this matter arouses a lot of interest from the media and the fans alike and I hope for an early resolution. Until then, we will have to be patient."
He added: "The only thing that is missing at this stage is to count on the full financing. I always said that I wouldn't go into Formula 1 unless the budget for three years was guaranteed. Unfortunately, at this point, this is what we are missing, although we are still working on it and moving forward."
Villadelprat also dismissed recent speculation that he could merge with fellow Spanish team HRT.
"These rumors have no foundation whatsoever," he said. "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 possibility of collaboration. Always keeping in mind the nature of our company and provided that there wouldn't be any conflict of interests."