Richard Dutton has revealed the decision to postpone Fortec Motorsport’s arrival in the FIA Formula 2 championship until 2019 was down to the failure of finding drivers with suitable budgets to compete for them this season.
The team were initially on the entry list for 2018 but dropped off the final list along with Racing Engineering, who have switched their attention to the European Le Mans Series, but Fortec boss Dutton says they still have ambitions to race in Formula 1’s premiere feeder series.
“We’ve just put it on hold for one year,” said Dutton to Motorsport.com. “It’s not that we’re not going to do it, it’s that we’re not going to do it in 2018 because the drivers that we were working with have gone overseas and they don’t want to race in Europe this year and they’re going to race in America.
“We’re not prepared to do it half-heartedly, we’d rather do it to go out there and be strong. But if we don’t feel we can be strong, then we’ll put it off for another year.
“The idea is, [and] we’ve been working with Bruno on it and between us we decided it would be better rather than go out there and not look good, [to postpone the entry].
“We’ve got all the right people together to do it properly, we just didn’t perhaps have the drivers with the budgets to do it properly, so we’ve shelved it for one year.”
Dutton said the team were close to signing two very good drivers but they were not prepared to compromise themselves, and it was decided to delay their arrival so they can come in next season and do the job properly.
“We came very close to signing two very good drivers but it didn’t happen in the end, so we weren’t prepared to compromise,” said Dutton. “We were either going to do it properly or not at all.
“We’d already got engineers from Formula 2 signed up and we were ready to go, but it just gives us a lot more time now to do it better for next year. We’re already working on next year now.”