Campos & US F1 Struggle: Should The F.I.A Have Seen It Coming?
As the start to the 2010 season looms it is becoming abundantly clear that two of the rookie teams may not be able to compete in the first racing weekend in Bahrain.
The US F1 and Campos teams have faced increasing pressure from Bernie Eccleston who has voiced concerns about their ability to produce their cars in time for first the winter testing sessions and then the actual season opener.
Development draw backs and financial complications seem to be restricting the progress made by both teams, accompanied with the evident fact that neither have named a full set of drivers for the 2010 season.
Ayrton Senna’s nephew Bruno may be named as Campos’s first driver but if suspicions come into fruition both himself and Lopez for US F1 will be left without a drive.
So it brings about the question as to why both teams were granted entry into the new season if it now looks as though they will struggle to fulfill what would have been deemed a strong case for their inclusion.
Let’s not forget that their enlisting on the grid was at the expense of other teams such as Lola Racing and also Stefan GP who instead were offered back up places.
The latter have seemingly continued development of a 2010 car with two possible drivers in fallen star Kazuki Nakajima and former race winner Ralf Schumacher ready to take the seats if necessary. Yet if development at Stefan GP was more promising why are they the back ups and why are they not instated teams.
Of course this may all be in hindsight; Campos and US F1 may have looked the more appropriate on a first impression basis, thus gifting them inclusion for the new season.
Eccleston however, may be at times regarded a strange and uniquely odd man, but he appears to have some common business sense about him thus far, highlighting that development issues at US F1 and the financial hindrances at Campos which could leave his sport minus two teams in Bahrain.
This would be in contradiction to his vision of a thirteen team grid for the new season, and an accompanying new points system to match. The idea of the points system was of course to make it just as accessible to score points with an increased field as opposed to leaving midfield teams nowhere near a points finish if four or five teams dominated.
What would happen for instance then if both Campos and US F1 were both unable to make the grid and we were left with twenty-two cars competing for a top ten points scoring finish?
Simply it would be too easy for lacklustre drivers to secure points and would effectively make a mockery of the new system itself.
It looks hopeful that Stefan GP, who are rumoured to have taken on the financial aid given to Campos by Italian constructor Dallara, are a team who may meet the specifications required to make the first Grand Prix in March. So if either Campos or US F1 has to withdraw their inclusion then we at least know one team is willing and able to provide an alternative choice.
Yet the F.I.A must now look to how they construct teams’ inclusions in future seasons as without a concrete list of teams able to compete they will leave themselves vulnerable for events similar to what is currently unfolding.
Recommendations should be made to push back the dates that inclusion confirmations are made either towards the end of the preceding year or if required in the first month or two of the year of the actual season.
This may place disruptions to development through testing but would surely allow both those involved within the sport and also us as spectators with a certain degree of confidence.
When you consider all of the unravelling drama that was dealt to the sport in recent years and the detriment it had all we will want to know now is that the sport we cherish is running as smoothly and as seemingly effortlessly as possible.
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