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Another Bernie brainwave

NEWS STORY
07/03/2012

As Mike Lawrence wonders what part of Cloud Cuckoo Land Bernie Ecclestone resides on, the F1 supremo reveals another cunning plan.

Talking to Sky Sports, Ecclestone has said that new teams should be allowed to run year-old cars supplied by the front runners whilst they establish themselves.

While Caterham looks as though it might take a step forward this season, though it remains to be seen if this will be the case and if so by how much, it appears to be a case of 'same old, same old' from Marussia and HRT.

The only running either team's 2012 cars has done prior to Melbourne is a limited number of laps for promotional purposes. If this was the first time, it wouldn't be so bad however, sadly it isn't, in the Spanish outfit's case it has happened ever since it entered F1 in 2010.

Asked if he felt sympathy for the two teams, Ecclestone replied: "Yes and no. It's like people sitting in a poker game and they're sitting there with people that can really ante up and they can't. They've only got one way to go out."

This from a man who at a time drivers such as Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell tended to retire from the sport and then return, talked of the days when there was a natural "culling" of drivers, a man who has shown absolutely no sentimentality when teams such as Lotus (the real Lotus) and Brabham fell by the wayside.

"If we reduce the necessity to spend to be competitive they may well become competitive," he added. "So that's what we have to do - we have to find that way.

"What I've been proposing is, perhaps, some of the teams at the bottom end of the grid should be able to run last year's constructor's car," he continued. "So one of the other teams mentioned (HRT and Marussia) could run last year's McLaren, or last year's Red Bull, for three years until they get themselves together and then they have to go back to be a constructor.

"The point is you don't have to bring the cost down to suit the people that can't really afford to spend as much as they (the big teams) do," he added. "You have to make sure that the regulations are such that it's not going to harm them."

While some, such as Ferrari's Luca di Montezemolo has long called for teams to be able to use third cars, in this case Ferrari running three entries, one wonders how HRT or Marussia running an RBR7 or MP4-26 would go down with Williams, Toro Rosso, Sauber or Force India.

Then again, if the correct processes had been carried out in the first place, a process that saw possible entries such as Prodrive fall by the wayside, yet allowed the likes of Campos and US F1 through, perhaps Bernie might not need to come out with such inane suggestions.

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