Ecclestone Admits New Teams Suffer Financially

The fact that all the new teams – Virgin, Lotus and HRT F1 – have been granted an entry into the 2010 Formula One Championship under budget cap expectations is starting to show. The cars they have managed to develop over the winter are clearly not as competitive as initially expected, and that's mainly because the outfits had little money to pour into their development programmes.

As most of you might remember from last summer, the new teams were given the go-ahead to prepare themselves for the 2010 championship while Max Mosley was still president of the FIA. Back then, the ruling body had implemented a budget cap for the upcoming season, which saw plenty of candidates bidding for a place in the series. With an equal amount of funds, they had high hopes of becoming as competitive as the other established teams right away.

However, following the political turmoil in F1 during the last summer, the budget cap proposition was scrapped and the new teams were left tackling financial problems ahead of their F1 debut. Their uncompetitiveness raised several eyebrows during recent weeks, from both manufacturers – Ferrari, Red Bull – and drivers – David Coulthard (former F1 driver), Felipe Massa, Mark Webber and Jenson Button.

According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, the chief executive of Formula One Bernie Ecclestone feels the same way, emphasizing that one cannot build a decent, competitive team with a budget of around EUR45 million.

Ferrari is right. (...) I always warned that a budget limit would not work. Now the new teams find that their budgets are not sufficient,” said the 79-year old Brit, while admitting that the potential EUR45 million budget cap “would have given them a chance” in 2010.

The first results of the budget cap scrappage scheme were seen last week, when US F1 closed their operations for the 2010 season due to lack of funds. They were supposed to be the 4th and last newly entrant team in the 2010 championship.
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