It was obvious for a long time to everyone in F1, and to the sport's legions of fans, that US F1 were not going to make the grid in 2010.
Alas, it didn't seem obvious to the sport's governing body, the FIA, that a team without a car is not well-placed to compete in F1. Although F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone has been publicly expressing doubts about US F1 since last year, the bureaucrats headed by Jean Todt chose to pretend that the Charlotte-based team would compete.
Of course they did.
If they had admitted that the earth is spherical, and that Peter Windsor's F1 entry was a phantom, then they would have had to give proper consideration to allowing entry to the Stefan GP team, which bought the 2010 spec cars and engines developed by Toyota.
Only now, less than two weeks before the opening race of the 2010 season, have the FIA confirmed that there will only be twelve teams on the grid. They say "...it is not possible for a replacement team to be entered for the championship at this late stage."
They've made sure it's not possible, by refusing to acknowledge the reality of US F1's position for month after month. And despite having cars and engines, Stefan GP have been unable to test and prove themselves ready.
My photo shows Bridgestone 2010 spec F1 tyres, but Stefan GP don't have any. The FIA will not allow Bridgestone to supply any team not entered for the F1 championship.
Today's FIA statement goes on to say "In the coming days the FIA will announce details of a new selection process to identify candidates to fill any vacancies existing at the start of the 2011 season."
Somehow, I have the feeling that whatever duds, dopes, and dreamers the FIA deems suitable for F1 in 2011, Stefan GP will not make the cut.