Jean Todt today confirmed the rumour on everyone’s lips that any Formula One team can miss up to 3 Grands Prix in 2010. At the current time of writing, this would seemingly only apply to USf1 and Campos Meta as both these teams are yet to sign their second drivers and to showcase their cars for the 2010 season.
This means that both teams could not show up until the 18th of April for the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai without for-fitting their F1 privileges. This means that, even though Stefan GP is eager to race and has confirmed it’s intention to test their car later in February, they will not be allowed entry onto the 2010 grid.
Rather bizarrely, Todt told Gazzetta dello Sport that “Having less money may even be healthy, but in the meantime we’ll have 13 teams in F1 this year…In the final version of the Concorde Agreement it’s written that a team may be absent for three races. But if a team can’t go on, it’s not a given that another team comes in. It’s up to the FIA to decide who has the requisites.”
So, a team like Stefan GP, who have a car, secure finances and have guaranteed that they are ready to race in Bahrain, will not be allowed onto the grid. Surely, this makes a mockery of the FIA selection process that went on in the summer of 2009. To their credit, Lotus F1 and Manor (Now Virgin) both have fully operational cars and are on route to Bahrain and the whole F1 community will be wishing them well. But what does it say for the credibility of the sport when two team don’t show up for the first three races? Can you imagine in the English Premiership if a newly promoted team chose not to play their first three games because they didn’t have a complete stadium or squad?
“All I can say to that is bullsh*t!”
You said it James