Ecclestone happy to lose new teams
Bernie Ecclestone suspects one or two of Formula One's new teams are "a bit out of their depth" and would not be surprised if they pulled out before the end of the season.
Lotus, Virgin and HRT all joined the grid this year but have been consistently off the pace of the more established teams. Each one of them has approached 2010 as a learning experience before promising a more competitive season next year, but Ecclestone doubts if some of them will even make the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
"I would not be surprised if one or two of them did not make the end of the season," he told the Daily Telegraph. "I think there are a couple of teams in Formula One who really shouldn't be there. They are a bit out of their depth at the moment."
The FIA is currently vetting candidates to become a 13th team on the grid, but Ecclestone is not concerned about losing some of the tail-enders.
"All we ever want is 10 teams," he said. "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 teams in. It has cost a lot of money to pay for them to compete.
"The bottom line is they haven't really and truly given us value for being there. If suddenly these teams don't turn up at races then I don't think the crowds will get any smaller, or the TV sets will turn off, or the newspapers will stop writing, will they?"
Before the German Grand Prix there were rumours that the Renault team was in financial trouble after it asked for an advance on its TV-rights money from Ecclestone and Formula One Management. However, the F1 CEO said the problem had been dealt with.
"All that was [the Renault story] was the fact that one of the shareholders didn't want to take money from another one of his companies because that would have meant convening a board meeting," Ecclestone said. "But I never gave them the money. And they got over the crisis so everything is fine."