The Times Ed Gorman had a story yesterday in which he quotes commercial rights boss Bernie Ecclestone as suggesting that two teams won’t make the grid in 2010 in Bahrain.
The Formula One commercial rights-holder revealed that he expects two of the four new teams with sanctioned grid slots for next season â€” Campos F1 and USF1 â€” not to make it. â€œI think the people we expected to perform will and those that we thought wouldnâ€™t, wonâ€™t,â€ he said. Ecclestone expects 24 cars to start the opening race in Bahrain in March.
Specifically Gorman says Ecclestone was speaking of USF1 and Campos Meta. Campos Meta has signed Bruno Senna and passed two of the FIA’s mandatory crash tests using a Dallara chassis while USF1 is presenting their case that everything is fine and they are on track.
Much speculation has been made of USF1’s ability to design and build a car for the 2010 season. The cost to design and manufacture a car from a white sheet of paper is immense and while their charter was to be a new, different and economic team in F1 it seems that F1 has proven to be money pit that everyone knew it was all along.
The upside for Campos Meta is that they are using a pre-made F1 chassis from Dallara so much of the gray matter has already been bought and paid for by the Italian manufacturer. Driver Bruno Senna is rumored to bring large sponsor dollars and if this is the case, Campos Meta could hang on.
It is a noble charge to create a team from scratch but the costs must be immense and while you can work within a budget, your performance and ability to be competitive may seriously struggle. Is Ecclestone correct? CAn USF1 and Campos Meta field a competitive car or will the new friendlier and lower cost F1 still have teeth enough to bite even the most frugal of teams?