2 Out of 4 Ain't Bad?: Who Will Be on the Grid Next Year?

Rhys WilliamsContributor IFebruary 18, 2010

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  Heikki Kovalainen of Finland and Lotus drives during winter testing at the Circuito De Jerez on February 18, 2010 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

With pre-season testing already past the halfway mark, only two of the four new Formula One teams have made it onto the track. And those that have made it to testing have struggled.

It was always a possibility that one of the teams might struggle to field an entry, but with two no shows and the other two teams as much as ten seconds off the pace, it seems increasingly unlikely that we’ll see the promised 26 cars on the grid.

While Lotus and Virgin have been beset by problems, you have to admire their professionalism in designing and constructing a new car in such a short amount of time. Lotus earn a particularly honourable mention considering that they were only granted their entry in September, and have already produced a running chassis.

However, the problems faced by US F1 and Campos have shown just how difficult it is to start a Formula 1 team from scratch. Back in January Campos announced that there were delays to their chassis, and also reports surfaced that they were not able to pay chassis supplier Dallara. They claim that they are still intending to race, but admitted that their challenger may not be unveiled until the eve of the first race.

This would be a shame as many people would like to see the name Senna return to F1, and without Campos on the grid, that is unlikely to happen this season, and Bruno Senna would be forced to spend another year on the sidelines waiting for his opportunity in F1.

It would also deny Spain, a country that has recently seen an upsurge in F1 popularity, their own F1 team. They may have to be content with cheering on Alonso and De La Rosa for the foreseeable future.

However bad things seem for Campos, they can take solace in the fact that there is someone worse off than them.

US F1 have had problems producing a car and rumours range from them missing the first three races to them missing the entire season. The Argentinean press have been reporting that US F1 driver José María López has been told that his services will not be required next season.

The fact that both Campos and US F1 may not make the starting grid in Bahrain comes as little surprise to some, especially Bernie Ecclestone. He was always sceptical about their entries and has been championing Stefan GP's cause to get them to the opening race of the season.

All this doom and gloom for Campos and US F1 is fantastic news for Stefan GP, who have already announced that they will be present and ready to race in Bahrain, even if they cannot secure and entry.

However, with Bernie on their side, a whole heap of Toyota parts and rumours about a driver line-up of Ralf Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve, it looks likely that there will be at least another new team joining Lotus and Virgin, we just don’t know which ones.