Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lets Review:

These are new the teams selected by the FIA for inclusion in the 2010 F1 World Championship:
  • USF1: Dead and finished. Probably permanently.
  • Manor Racing: Now Virgin Racing. This may or may not be a buy-out, it is hard to tell. They have introduced, and started testing, a real racing car.
  • Campos Meta: Now Hispania Racing Team, or HRT. Original owners no longer involved. Still waiting for the Dallara-designed and built car to be introduced, although that is allegedly going to happen on Thursday or Friday, a week before Bahrain. This means the first time it does any running, trivial or not, will be free practice session one at a race weekend.
  • Lotus: so far the most stable of the lot. No ownership changes, and they have introduced a (plain, slow) F1 car and done some testing.
  • BMW-Sauber: lost their entry while BMW was trying to exit involvement, only to gain it back when Toyota abruptly departed. Perhaps the most ironic team on the grid, since BMW is not involved at all any more, and the engines are Ferrari. Probably the best prepared of all the "new" teams since they really are not that new. We can't really count them as in trouble because all their drama happened last year.
So from five teams, you have one outright failure, possibly two total ownership changes, one very uncompetitive team, and one moderately successful team which again doesn't count because they are not really that new.

Oh, and the FIA has decided that Stefan GP won't be participating this year, even though USF1 has failed.

Now to be fair, part of the problem is that the first group of teams to sign up for 2010 did so when the FIA was planning the spending cap rules. The championship formula that eventually was decided on was very different, meaning that all these teams were suddenly underfinanced. USF1's Ken Anderson claims that the delay in sorting out the regulations for 2010 (there wasn't a peace brokered until mid- or late July 2009) meant that the new teams had no idea what set of goal posts they would actually be working towards until very late.

So you end up with a truncated timeline to meet a standard that suddenly would cost a lot more money than initially planned.

With these factors in mind, it isn't much of a surprise that the new teams would have difficulties.