Three new teams? I hear five…

Bernie Ecclestone says that he thinks there will be three new teams in Formula 1 in 2010 as a result of the planned budget cap. It is not clear who these might be, although one is probably going to be the USGPE operation. One can speculate that there might be other bids coming from the likes of Prodrive/Aston Martin and perhaps from GP2 teams such as Campos GP and Racing Engineering and it is even possible that Giancarlo Minardi or Paul Stoddart might want to get back into the game. Stoddart was in Melbourne, running his two-seater F1 cars for the first time but he says that his factory in Ledbury could be geared up for F1 quite easily and there are no shortage of people on the market with the right kind of experience.

The whispers I am hearing down here is that there are five bidders for places and that this may result in the proposed Cosworth engine being revived. Max Mosley suggested a few months ago that there would be cheap engines from Cosworth if enough teams signed up for the idea. None did, but new teams may want to go down that route. Ecclestone there will be 26 cars, but we believe that there could be as many as 30 cars, which would mean that we would have to see a return to pre-qualifying.

The Formula 1 field has not had 26 cars since the mid-1990s when the entry was padded out with the likes of Simtek, Pacific Grand Prix and Forti. Of the teams from that era, only three are unchanged: Ferrari, McLaren and Williams. Team Lotus, Ligier/Prost and Footwork/Arrows have all gone out of business while others have had different owners, notably Sauber/BMW, Benetton/Renault, Tyrrell/BAR/Honda/Brawn, Minardi/Toro Rosso, and Jordan/Midland/Spyker/Force India.

The only new team since those days that has survived is Stewart Grand Prix, which later became Jaguar Racing and ultimately transformed itself into Red Bull Racing.

The most interesting thing will be to see whether or not the Spanish can come up with a team, as this is one of the areas where F1 is not as strong as it could be.

6 thoughts on “Three new teams? I hear five…

  1. Getting back to 26 cars on the grid would be fantastic.

    Personally I wouldn’t particularly like to see the ‘two-tone’ grid that the capped vs. un-capped teams would give as there would be too much scope for the FIA to fiddle (for the purposes of controlling the median performance of the hi-tech cars, of course) with the rules to impart a heavy spin on GP results.

    I think a better compromise would be for all teams to cut their budget to $100M annually, and for the FIA to allow the hi-tech de-regulation to all the teams. This might mean that not all 5 teams that you mention, Joe, would see the 2010 grid, but I should think this would provide a better and more harmonious (if ever there can be such a thing in F1) grid, whilst allowing plenty of scope for the innovation and technology that us F1 fans love to hear about.

  2. “The only new team since those days that has survived is Stewart Grand Prix”

    Am I misunderstanding your criteria or did you forget Toyota?

  3. I assumed that two of Bernie’s teams were ficticious and existed only to add credibility to the £30 million class. My assumption being that the £30 million class exists only as a weapon to force FOTA back into line. I expect these ficticious teams will be used along with a drawn out appeals campaign on the diffusers three of the teams are running to try to split FOTA.

  4. Politics aside I wouldn’t mind the two tier grid either. The more cars the better. Bring on pre-qualifying!

    As every race fan knows, one of the criticisms (frequently) levelled at going to races is (wait for it) “you can only see one corner.” Not having visited a race people usually can’t understand that the racing is often great down the back, sometimes better than up front! I love being able to see all the battles every lap (and only very rarely can you see just one corner).

    Also, getting behind a lesser team (maybe drawn at random from a sweepstake hat) adds to the fun of a race weekend. In the early 80s I seem to recall drawing Slim Borgudd quite a lot, not the most productive driver, although I think he had a good result at Silverstone one year. Within my small circle of ‘mates’ he was known as ‘The Stig’. Top Gear take note! The royalty cheque still hasn’t arrived.

    Always liiked yellow (and Abba too)!

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