Mat Coch writes:
Former Minardi boss Paul Stoddard believes Lotus, Virgin and Hispania have all done a good job to get to the grid, despite what the critics may say. His fear however is that this is only the beginning, and the really hard work is still to come.
"At least two of them started with no real preparation, the other had a little bit of a head start, but they've got here and that's the main thing... they got to Bahrain, they got through Bahrain, they're here in Australia," he told Pitpass in Melbourne.
"Formula One needed new teams to fill the void created by the manufacturers - or some of the manufacturers - leaving so it's good that they've stepped up. How they'll get on I think time will tell but it will be interesting."
He admitted that it won't be easy by any means. "It is tough at the back, you know, as no-one's going to thank you for being best of the rest, or seven seconds off the pace, or even five seconds off the pace.
"It shows you how good a job Minardi did in all those years. We were a couple seconds off the pace but we were spending a fraction of what these guys are spending."
While he's pleased to see them on the grid, Stoddard is adamant that they need to get up to sped quickly if they've any hope of survival. ""Your first year is your easiest, next year's the hard one," he said. "Everyone cuts you a bit of slack in your first year. There's a lot of enthusiasm, the whole place, your team, runs pretty much on adrenalin when you're trying to get to the first Grand Prix."
Then there's the aviation magnate's biggest concern. "I'm quite concerned by the distinct lack of sponsors names on some of those cars," he confessed. "In this day and age it takes a lot of money to get these teams to the grid. You have to stand on results, and if you haven't got them it's pretty damned hard to find sponsors."
The Australian ruled out any chance of returning to the F1 paddock as a team owner in the near future, confirming he has no intention of submitting an application to the 2011 selection process. "There's two more, certainly one more, credible team out there. I think I'd rather watch and wait and see what happens with the existing teams."