Epsilon Euskadi boss Joan Villadelprat (left) is concerned that his team might not get enough time to prepare for a 2011 Formula 1 program if it is chosen as a 13th entrant.
The FIA is currently considering applications from teams keen to join the World Championship next year, with Spanish squad Epsilon among the leading contenders. But Villadelprat fears that a late announcement could leave any successful applicant short on time – or lead to unsuccessful projects wasting money as they feel compelled to get a head start on 2011 designs in case they are chosen.
"I'm optimistic, but also a bit worried because the FIA announcement won't come before the end of August," said Villadelprat in an interview with Autosprint. "That means that, for the teams who get the nod, the time to start proper construction of the F1 car will be tiny.
"On top of that, it's inevitable that we now find ourselves in the situation where we begin making investments without knowing whether we'll actually be in next year's championship."
Despite not yet knowing if Epsilon will be on the 2011 grid, Villadelprat says the project is making good progress and would be sustainable long term.
"We have long been in talks with big and important international companies who are interested in investing in us," he said. "Within two weeks we'll have a better understanding of what we can do.
"One thing is for sure: our program isn't on a yearly basis. The budget I require must cover at least the first two seasons, 2011 and 2012. I repeat, that's a minimum. An F1 team can't be reasoning year by year."
He is also skeptical about Virgin Racing's ambition of keeping within the 40 million euro [$49.1m) figure originally proposed under the now-abandoned budget cap.
"I feel that, in order to begin thinking of improving a team, you need no less than 100 million as a starting point," Villadelprat said. "Of course, you can race with 40 million euro, too, but without making any important development and at the risk of always being just an extra. And having to start over from zero every year."