I noticed on the autosport.com site that Bernie is reported as saying that the new teams have added nothing and that he’d be happy to return to a 20 car grid. He also said,
“All we ever want is 10 teams. Lotus is a good name. I wouldn’t want to lose them. But in general this year has been a bit of a nuisance because it has cost money to keep these [struggling] teams in. It has cost a lot of money to pay for them to compete.”
I guess it’s costing Formula One Administration but I confess I’m not sure.
At first look this looks like a typical Bernie Ecclestone prelude to a negotiation session (echoes of the British Grand Prix, etc.). He’s a shrewed guy with his eye firmly on the bottom line. But surely he recognises that you have to have new blood in the family or you’re heading for certain extinction.
Well new blood is important but teams come and go all the time. These lot wouldn’t be that missed and there probably would be teams waiting to come into the sport (although that cannot be taken for granted).
Bernie is probably testing the new teams. Pile on pressure now and if they’re weak and fail then he was right. If they survive then he wins and they’ll be worth the money
Bernie threw the new teams some money at the start of the season so they could make the grid. For political purposes, he has done the same in the past (to Jordan among others). But clearly he’s not going to get a return on investment in HRT or Virgin, or any of the ropey names still in the frame for the 13th team, so he’s flagging up that he’s not feeling so generous now to get it out of the way.