Stefan GP is still pushing with its intention to race in Formula 1 this year despite not having an entry.
The Serbian car, however, has been fired up and it's ready to start testing, with team boss Zoran Stefanovic confirming talks with Jacques Villeneuve are progressing well.
Stefanovic spoke with AUTOSPORT after his car came to life for the first time.
Zoran Stefanovic: This morning was another steppingstone for Stefan Grand Prix. This morning, the first car – Stefan 01 – was fired up for the first time.
The car ran faultlessly, there was no problem whatsoever, and we could race or test on a racetrack, but we're just waiting for tires.
Q. The fire-up was in Cologne?
ZS: Yes, in Cologne, in the race bays. The car is completely assembled and the second one is already under way and will be ready also in several days.
Q. The car is in Serbian red colors?
Q. Just red or other colors?
ZS: No, only red.
Q. Will it have any sponsorship logos?
ZS: It will, but at the moment it's not yet on the car. We will prepare it for the presentation completely.
Q. Was Pascal Vasselon there?
ZS: I don't know, because at the moment I am in Serbia, doing other things which are important, but I really regret it because it is a big day and I wasn't there.
Q. How many people are on your team?
ZS: At the moment, nearly 60.
Q. And then additional Toyota people?
ZS: Yes. The total number of people we're expecting to employ this year will be up to roughly 180.
Q. Does that include Toyota people?
ZS: No, it's separate.
Q. All based in Serbia?
ZS: At the moment in Cologne.
Q. Are you planning to move the whole operation to Serbia?
ZS: We're talking about the technical side. At the moment the technical side is in Cologne, but during the year we will start to see what we are going to do in Serbia, because in Serbia is just the legal part.
Q. How many people do you have in Serbia at the moment?
ZS: At the moment a small number of people because it's separate, but it will be a different structure. There will be three different companies.
Q. SGP Engineering will be based in Cologne?
ZS: It will be based in Serbia, but it will have an off-shoot in Cologne. There will be part of it in Cologne.
Q. Where do you stand on tires?
ZS: What we have at the moment is an answer from Bridgestone that they are only supplying to teams which are participating in Formula 1, but we are positive that they may supply GP2 tires.
Q. If you can't get tires from Bridgestone, what are your options?
ZS: We will see. We are working on it at the moment and we can't comment more. We think that safety will prevail.
Q. Have you heard any more from the FIA about your entry?
ZS: Not yet. We are expecting it to be clarified relatively shortly, because all of us know what the situation is. In the meantime we are working very heavily on sorting out the drivers' contracts.
Q. When will we have news on the drivers?
ZS: At the moment we have to say that we are very near. We are very near to a contract with Jacques Villeneuve, and probably also with another driver as our reserve driver. But the first one which will be with us is Kazuki Nakajima.