• 2010 Season

Campos and US F1 could miss first three races

ESPNF1 Staff
February 8, 2010 « No pre-season testing for Heidfeld | »

Bernie Ecclestone has cast further doubt over the chances of US F1 and Campos making the first race in Bahrain, by suggesting both teams will skip the first three races of the season.

He revealed that a clause in the Concorde Agreement, the contract that binds the sport together, allows teams to skip three races during the season without penalty. Although most outfits are unlikely to use it, due to sponsorship contracts, it could offer a vital period of grace for Campos and US F1 to prepare for their Formula One debut.

"I think we won't see Campos and I don't think we will see the Americans, they are going to ask to miss three races," Ecclestone told the Express. "In the Concorde Agreement the teams are allowed to miss three races."

Both teams have insisted several times that they will make the first race of the season, although Campos has admitted it is still looking for investors to pay its bills to chassis manufacturer Dallara. US F1 is going through its final crash tests and several reports suggest the chassis is at a very advanced stage.

However, Serbian outfit Stefan GP, which is developing the ex-F1 team Toyota's 2010 chassis, is ready to step in if necessary and will ship equipment to the opening round on the off chance that it is granted an entry. Ecclestone said Stefan GP has secured enough funding to be in a position to race and he has previously given his support to the project.

"They have got the money from the Serbian government, I've spoken to the prime minister," Ecclestone said.

Former F1 drivers Ralf Schumacher, Kazuki Nakajima and Jacques Villeneuve have all been linked to the new team, which will test at the Portimao circuit in the Algarve later this month. McLaren Spygate conspirator Mike Coughlan is already working at the team alongside ex-Force India team principal Colin Kolles.