F1 News, Views and Reviews

Ecclestone Predicts Grid Shrink Before End Of Season

Bernie Ecclestone has said today that he believes the Formula One grid will shrink before the end of the season with one or two teams falling by the way side.

The ring leader of F1 was talking to The Daily Telegraph in an exclusive interview about the state of the teams in F1 today.  While there had been a lot of concern surrounding Renault recently, Ecclestone canned fears that they might be leaving the sport by stating that Genii Capital who own the team were in good financial condition.

”All that was [the Renault situation] 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,” Ecclestone said.

“But I never gave them the money. And they got over the crisis so everything is fine.”

However Ecclestone was no so bouyant about the state of other teams in F1.  He reckons that one team is very likely to leave, and another may well follow.  He also downplayed the significance of the new teams that entered the sport at the start of 2010 claiming that Lotus were the only serious and important team.

“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 1 who really shouldn’t be there. They are a bit out of their depth at the moment.”

“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?”

With F1 looking for another team to take the empty place of the failed USF1 project for 2011, it really devalues their position.  With regard the team that is most likely to leave, that is almost certainly a reference to Hispania.  HRT were a last minute team, and have already been in financial struggles.  There is great paddock rumour that Bernie himself paid out for the team to continue running, but they had to use Indian driver Karun Chandhok.  Now he has been dropped from the team, Bernie seems to be telling it how it is.

He also didn’t seem convinced then about Virgin Racing in the sport, despite the fact that Timo Glock is near the pace of the Lotus’.  It would be a big surprise if they were packing their bags and leaving F1 at the end of the season.

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