Feb 9, 2010

What are the odds?

Upon hearing that a newspaper had written his obituary, Mark Twain quipped that the reports of his death had been greatly exaggerated.

That may also be true of new F1 teams USF1 and Campos Meta 1, but it's difficult not to think something is going on.

Rumours of problems at the two teams continue to swirl, with many F1 insiders wondering if either will make the grid in Bahrain at the first race of the 2010 season next month.

That wasn't helped by Federation Internationale de l'Automobile president Jean Todt's confirmation that the Concorde Agreement signed last summer allows teams to skip three races.

After that, action may be taken, Todt said.

"If one of them doesn't make it, it doesn't mean another team comes in," he told the Italian Gazzetta dello Sport. "It's up to the FIA to decide if they have the credentials."

US F1 and Campos haven't named their two drivers, launched their 2010 cars or attended either of the first two pre-season tests. US F1 already asked the sport to test its car in Alabama sometime in February before heading to Europe to join the rest of the teams in pre-season tests.

F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone continues to talk up Stefan Grand Prix, as an alternate to any of the outfits that fail to live up to their obligations. It is owned funded Serbian businessman Zoran Stefanovich.

Todt's confirmation follows comments a few days ago from Ecclestone who said the teams can miss races under the new Concorde Agreement and its likely more than one will take advantage of this option.

"I think we won't see Campos and I don't think we will see the Americans," he told the Express. "They are going to ask to miss three races."

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