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JULY 31, 2010

Cypher Group withdraws from F1 bid

The secretive American outfit Cypher Group has announced that it has pulled out of the running to bid for the open 13th slot in Formula One. The organization was formed by ex-USF1 personnel, including former Brawn engineer Steve Brown and gearbox designer Lee Williams, after the Charlotte operation closed it's doors this past spring. Earlier this summer the group indicated that the young American driver Jonathan Summerton would be one of it's drivers.

In a statement issued to the press the group said, "We remain completely committed to developing a credible and viable Formula One team and were able to raise a considerable amount of sponsorship and interest in recent months. However after much deliberation we have decided that the budget we have is not sufficient to allow us to pursue the project in a manner befitting the series. It was not an easy decision, but one made out of respect for the FIA Formula One World Championship and our loyal supporters. The Cypher Group is reviewing projects and opportunities that will allow it to achieve the ultimate goal of entering Formula One in the near future.

A reported 15 teams submitted expressions of interest to the FIA at the end of March. Formal entries were due last month, but the FIA has not revealed which teams are still in the running.

One of the front-running bids from ART Grand Prix, run by FIA president Jean Todt's son Nicolas, announced their withdrawal at the beginning of July.

Among the entries still believed to be in the running are the Durango/Villeneuve outfit and the Spanish operation Epsilon Euskadi.