Thoroughly beaten by shoestring budget Brawn team, big teams admit defeat (GMM) As Brawn run away and even Red Bull's Christian Horner admits catching them will be "very difficult", the time has come for other teams to write off their 2009 campaigns.
"We have some of our technical big guns on next year's program because we need to," McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh admitted, according to the Sun newspaper.
A distant fifth in the constructors' standings with the uncompetitive MP4-24, Whitmarsh said the 2009 contender has not been written off but development will now increasingly "taper" in favor of next year's project.
Although BMW's Mario Theissen on Tuesday denied that the team must now "fully focus" on 2010, it is a different story for Toro Rosso as the second Red Bull outfit prepares to build its own single seater for the first time.
Boss Franz Tost said the new design team will have to begin working on the 2010 project as soon as it is set up, and Giorgio Ascanelli is already missing races to that end at Faenza.
"With our structure and our number of employees, we are not in a position to run a double program; designing a car for next year is a tremendous job by itself because regulation changes mean the car will be completely different to this year," he said.
Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali, meanwhile, did not deny that the ideal philosophy might now be to forget 2009 and turn to next year, but explained a dilemma.
"Our season is now compromised, but are we thinking about next year?" he asked rhetorically in Italy's Corriere dello Sport.
"The problem with that is we don't really know what the regulations will be in 2010.
"I think the next few weeks are critical. After that the resources will be allocated, depending on how the championship is going," the Italian added.