HRT and Virgin F1 teams to fold UPDATE (GMM) "One or two" of F1's existing twelve teams might bow out of formula one before November's Abu Dhabi finale, Bernie Ecclestone has warned.
"I think there are a couple of teams in formula one who really shouldn't be there. They are a bit out of their depth at the moment," he said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.
Losing two teams would drop the grid down to 20 cars, but the FIA is in the process of perhaps allowing Villeneuve/Durango, Epsilon Euskadi, Stefan GP or Cypher Group to debut next year.
But Ecclestone insisted: "All we ever want is 10 teams. Lotus is a good name. I wouldn't want to lose them. But in general this year has been a bit of a nuisance because it has cost money to keep these (new) teams in.
"It has cost a lot of money to pay for them to compete."
It is likely the Briton is referring to HRT, who are now shuffling around drivers with the deepest pockets for the two race seats, and Virgin, whose main sponsor Sir Richard Branson said last year the team would have F1's smallest budget.
"The bottom line is they haven't really and truly given us value for being there," said Ecclestone.
"If suddenly these teams don't turn up at races then I don't think the crowds will get any smaller, or the TV sets will turn off, or the newspapers will stop writing, will they?" he added.07/27/10 There were reports over the German grand Prix weekend surrounding Renault and their request to F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, to advance them their share of the television revenue monies that were owing to them at the end of the year, stirring certain media outlets into a frenzy about the French based squad being in dire financial straits.
However, speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Ecclestone revealed that the reason behind the request was far less sinister than many would like to believe....
“All that was was the fact that one of the shareholders didn’t want to take money from another one of his companies because that would have meant convening a board meeting,” he said. “But I never gave them the money. And they got over the crisis so everything is fine.’
However, despite his confidence over the French squad’s situation, Ecclestone did admit that there were one or two other teams that he wasn’t quite so confident about....
“I would not be surprised if one or two of them did not make the end of the season. I think there are a couple of teams in Formula One who really shouldn’t be there. They are a bit out of their depth at the moment.”
While he didn’t say exactly which two he was referring to, he did admit that Lotus was a name he wanted to keep on the grid and that ten teams was all that he really needed to keep the series going...
“All we ever want is 10 teams,” he said. “Lotus is a good name. I wouldn’t want to lose them. But in general this year has been a bit of a nuisance because it has cost money to keep these [struggling] teams in. It has cost a lot of money to pay for them to compete.”
"The bottom line is they haven’t really and truly given us value for being there. If suddenly these teams don’t turn up at races then I don’t think the crowds will get any smaller, or the TV sets will turn off, or the newspapers will stop writing, will they?”
Reading between the lines, it is fairly obvious that he is referring to HRT and Virgin Racing.