Will F1's new teams get to the grid?

06/07/2009
NEWS STORY

Uncertainty and F1 seem to go hand in hand. The FIA has announced the full list of 13 teams which will race in F1 next year but the recent accusations of bias in the selection process could turn that on its head. One prospective team certainly thinks so.

Pitpass has seen a letter sent by the team saying that following its failure to be selected "our investor/sponsors were extremely disappointed and signalled their intention to withdraw." However, it continues "they have a lot of trust in me and I think I have managed to convince them that the selection process was 'political' and that with recent events there is a chance that we may be selected. As a result they have not withdrawn but have adopted a wait and see approach."

The really interesting thing is that the letter was written on 26th June - just after FIA president Max Mosley had written to the FIA World Motor Sport Council saying that "it is possible that FOTA will set up an independent series" and signalling that he may put himself up for election in October as FIA president. It is believed that doing so could spur FOTA to break away from F1 thus freeing up grid slots for new teams in F1 itself and in FOTA's series.

Likewise, if FOTA demands that the F1 selection process is carried out again in light of the accusations of bias towards Cosworth then the current three teams, Manor, Campos and USF1, could find themselves moribund. Furthermore, companies, such as Virgin, which have reportedly signed deals with these teams already, will end up with egg all over their faces should this happen.

There also seems to be a strong chance that even if there is no rival series and the 2010 team selection remains as it is, grid slots could still become available.

Pitpass recently reported that USF1 had approached the completely wrong department of a company which it hoped to woo as a sponsor. Now, speaking under condition of anonymity, a senior business source in F1 has told Pitpass' business editor Chris Sylt that "somebody went to see the American team the other day and said 'there's nothing there.' I'd be very surprised if they are there [next season]."

Time will tell just how wise it is to let the FIA take charge of team selection.

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Published: 06/07/2009
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