As the teams roll out the tyres Stateside, the F1 paddock is without both Caterham and Marussia.
Last week heard the unfortunate announcement that both teams are in administration and have withdrawn from the United States GP.
Although this still leaves nine teams and eighteen cars scheduled to race in Austin, it will add speculative fuel to the fire concerning the possibility of an eight team three-car line up for the 2015 grid.
F1 top dog, Bernie Ecclestone is all for the new format and his willingness for the three-car line up shows no sign of flagging. What makes this all the more confusing is the new rumour that the big teams may actually have to supply the lower teams with a car — is this a good idea? Of course it’s not – Bernie has finally hit an age where his girlfriend really should be looking to find him a home.
Before the untimely news nearing the end of the season, Caterham sit bottom of the Constructors’ standings, a team failing to score a single point throughout their three seasons racing. However, thanks to a top-ten finish at Monaco, Marussia sit ninth. You could argue it’s no great loss to Caterham, but Marussia are a team set to receive £40M if they remain in ninth, a windfall that could attract a possible investor.
If I were to interject a personal comment, I’d say Marussia are a team that deserve a second chance, a back-of-the-grid team managing to score precious F1 points. What with the tragic accident involving their French driver, Jules Bianchi, I think the team deserve a chance to fight for that ninth place.
For those of you unfamiliar with the accident in Japan, Jules Bianchi crashed his car on the 43rd lap of the Suzuka Grand Prix, leaving him with serious head injuries. A fortnight after the accident, he was said to be stable but still in critical condition. A few weeks on, and apart from his father describing his situation as “desperate”, there’s no reported development on the star’s health.
Despite placing budget caps on all teams, Former FIA president Max Mosley has called for further changes in the way F1’s revenues are distributed.
This is a good call, as if nothing is done now, more teams could find themselves in a similar position and the entry teams will always struggle to score a single point. Whilst I’m all for the top teams developing and innovating technology, I feel the lower teams are sometimes a nuisance, cars scrapping in the giants’ shadows for the rare flickers of light coming their way.
Another interesting bit of news involves Sebastian Vettel confirming he is likely to miss US qualifying. Because of some technical regulations and a power unit change, the German will probably start from the pits on Saturday.
F1 regulations state that during one season, only five engine components can be used, anymore incurring a penalty. If Red Bull used a sixth of one type of component, the driver faces a 10-place grid penalty.
Red Bull think incurring the penalty by changing a whole unit and saving it further by skipping qualifying will be more beneficial come Sunday.
Is this madness?
Red Bull obviously remember Rosberg’s stunning second-place comeback in Russia after he flat-spotted his Mercedes’ tyres into the first corner and fell to the back of the grid – the Milton Keynes outfit maybe onto something with this bold decision.
So with the Austin pitlane rife with rumour and minus two teams, at least we can see if the current German world champion can come from the back and upset the gargantuan Mercedes Hamilton Rosberg War.