One of the things I like best about Mark Webber is his penchant for telling it like it is. Webber is rarely at a loss for words and that’s a good thing as far as the media goes.
The excitement builds with precious few days left before the beginning of the 2010 F1 season and yet with today’s entry list, published by governing body the FIA, it seems the guessing may be over as to whom will participate. The new teams of Virgin Racing and Lotus F1 Racing have attended testing and look relatively good comparatively to the top teams. With firm entry in hand and serious mileage during testing, both teams will make it to the grid at Bahrain in 10 days time. Campos Meta, recently re-named Hispania Racing Team or HRT is another story as is the now-defunct USF1.
With no testing from Hispania and a complete withdrawal from USF1, it seems the situation has caught the eye of Webber who readies himself for his assault on the world title for Red Bull this year.
“It’s embarrassing,” Webber told Australian news agency AAP. “It’s incredible that people who haven’t yet turned a wheel take part in Grands Prix. It’s the sort of stuff from Mickey Mouse or Tom and Jerry.”
While Speed TV announced USF1’s request for deferment until the 2011 season, they also reported that Hispania would not make it to the grid in Bahrain. There is little corroborating news to suggest this is the truth although the task seemed daunting for any team given the lack of time and amount of work needed to be done.
Should Hispania Racing field a car in 10 days time, just how competitive it will be remains to be seen. This leaves us with the stillborn USF1 and the debacle/joke it became during the off season. Understandably Webber is perplexed by the situation and shares a sentiment similar to many F1 fans. The series is the pinnacle of motorsport and allowing teams, who are flying on a wing and a prayer, to join is not indicative of the sport.
Other F1 fans may recall the early days of “run what you brung” and will look at the 2010 new teams, limited budgets and off-pace performance as a throwback to the privateer era with many news teams coming and going with the wind of change.
A cartoon? Perhaps. Webber is used to proper cars, teams and drivers on the grid and this is the unfiltered side of the Australian driver we love to hear from. At some level, thousands of fans agree with him…this indeed has been a surreal selection and execution study of bitter sweet proportions.