If you’ve been following the FIA and their attempt at adding a 13th team to the grid for 2011, you’ll know that this decision is supposed to happen late August. Mercedes GP boss Ross Brawn thinks this may be a daunting task.
There were a host of possibilities from GP2 team ART and the American Cypher Group who have withdrawn their applications, leaving Stefan GP, Epsilon Euskadi and the world champion Jacques Villeneuve and Durango combination. But is it too late? The new teams complained that last years late notice was the real problem for them and USF1 blamed it for their still-born operation. Brawn told ITV:
â€œIâ€™d suggest itâ€™s getting pretty tight now,â€ Brawn said. â€œWeâ€™ve started our car for next year. Obviously the amount of effort and resource we put in is front line.
â€œI think teams can get cars together in shorter periods of time, as some of the [new] teams demonstrated [this year]. But itâ€™s very difficult. It looks pretty marginal to me to get a team together in time for next year.
Can a new team assemble the right parts and make a competitive car from now until March 2011? Perhaps a going concern might be able to adapt like Epsilon Euskadi but few others can unless they have a full GP2 operation waiting in the wings.
Brawn argues that a 13th team really isn’t needed:
â€œI also think weâ€™ve got to look at the fact that weâ€™ve got a pretty healthy grid now,â€ he said. â€œ24 cars is a pretty good size.
â€œI donâ€™t think it would be a disaster if a 13th team didnâ€™t come in. What weâ€™ve got to do is keep the teams weâ€™ve got, and Iâ€™m sure the smaller teams at the back of the grid are going to close the gap next year with their second car.
â€œI think weâ€™ll have an interesting grid next year with the teams we already have.â€
With HRT’s rumored financial crisis, maybe the 13th team is in fact needed as we may only have 11 by the end of 2010. It seems one of these new teams would do well to purchase HRT instead of trying to create a team from the ground up–something USF1 would have been better advised to do.
Should F1 entertain another team? Can they possibly be on par with the current teams and maintain the 107% rule which will be in play for 2011?