Gaston Mazzacane has confirmed that he has been contracted by Phoenix, the finance group that have bought assets of Prost, to drive for them despite the fact they may not make it to the grid. Phoenix, supported by Arrows' boss Tom Walkinshaw, bought several cars and spare parts from the defunct Prost team as well as rights to the Concorde Agreement, which defines team placings in the structure of F1.
Mazzacane drove for Prost at the beginning of last season but was replaced by Luciano Burti after four races. He stated that the team are already working on the car ready to enter F1: "I have a contract and I've been asked by the team to be in London on Monday. They are working on building the car and once that is done they will decide whether to show up in the next race in Malaysia or in Brazil." He said.
Jack Kremer, the boss of cable giant PSN, looks after Mazzacane's affairs and believes that the plans Phoenix have are going ahead: "There is a signed contract and the truth is that the team will take part in the Formula One World Championship," he commented. "They've told us not to worry about all the news that we might hear."
According to Walkinshaw, Phoenix wanted to take to the grid as early as the Malaysian GP this weekend but it is very doubtful: FIA President Max Mosley and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone say Phoenix have only bought some cars, not the right to race. As the company only bought assets and not Prost Grand Prix itself, they may have to pay the US$48million new entrance fee required by the FIA.