10th February 2010
FIA president Jean Todt dead certain 13 Formula One teams will race
• Concorde Agreement allows teams to miss three races
• FIA president says ‘we need to cut costs’
The FIA president, Jean Todt, is confident 13 teams will race in Formula One this year, even if Team US F1 and Campos Meta skip the first three races of the season.
Both teams say they will make the first race, but both are surrounded by speculation that financial issues will make them unable to get their cars and outfits ready for Bahrain on 14 March.
The Formula One rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone, and Todt have confirmed that provisions are in place for competitors to miss three races without penalty. US F1 and Campos have until the Chinese Grand Prix on 18 April to get their cars ready. This means the Serbian Stefan GP team has no chance of being granted a late entry.
“We will have 13 teams in F1 this year,” Todt was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport. “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.
“We need to cut costs, improve the show and draw investors. F1 must understand that the world has changed. How can you explain that an F1 car needs 80 litres of fuel to cover 100km?
“I don’t like the cost cap; we must get to a reduction through clear rules, for example with a single aerodynamic package for the entire year. Will the cars slide more in Monte Carlo? [Perhaps, but] then the quality of the drivers will be heightened.
“It’s not acceptable to have given up with KERS. The teams complain that it costs too much? Then they must find the way to save money. The teams are sensitive when we talk about lap times, less sensitive when the environment is discussed.”
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