New teams may miss 3 races without penalty

Mon, 8 February 2010, 04:31

Feb.8 (GMM) F1’s struggling new teams could miss the season opener next month and escape penalty.

Previously, failing to contest a round of the world championship for a reason other than ‘force majeure’ resulted in a total loss of rights and exclusion from the sport.

But under the new version of the Concorde Agreement, teams may now miss three races before their official entry is handed back to the FIA, according to a report in the British newspaper Sunday Express.

“I think we won’t see Campos and I don’t think we will see the Americans (USF1),” F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is quoted as saying.

The 79-year-old Briton has made it clear he would prefer an entry to pass into the hands of the Serbian hopeful Stefan GP.

“They have got the money from the Serbian government, I’ve spoken to the prime minister,” Ecclestone said.

But sporting director Peter Windsor denied USF1 are in trouble, and the Melbourne newspaper The Age said a teammate for Jose Maria Lopez is expected to be announced this week.

“Things are going well,” he said. “We’ve had a few glitches as you would expect. Nothing’s ever smooth in formula one and it’s a very, very late start to the whole programme.”

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