Today was the day. This was the day that the FIA released a list that gave the teams another week. As it currently stands, the entry list for next year’s FIA Formula One World Championship is set with all of the ten teams from this season and three newcomers. But it’s not as simple as that is it? It never is in F1.
The three new teams are set to be Campos, Manor and USF1. This is great for these three teams as they will be able to – most likely – be reserved for the back of the pack and try to score low points. Sure they will be in F1, but so were Minardi and Super Aguri and Spyker. I’m not going to be too harsh on them yet though because they are going to try to outdo some of the larger teams and that always adds to the excitement of the F1 weekend. Remember the sensational pass that Takuma Sato made on Fernando Alonso in Montreal? Well that is what F1 wants more of and they may just get that. However, that sort of competition relies on the fact that there will still be big fish in the F1 pond.
Although they are listed on the entry for next season, Renault, Toyota, Mercedes, Brawn and BMW Sauber are all still listed as being conditional entries. The fact that the FIA has included Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso as unconditional entries is something that those teams are looking into as they have clearly been at the forefront of the “if they go, we go” movement. The difference between the conditional and unconditional entries is that the unconditional entries are supposed to have a standing contract with the sport to continue next year regardless of what they say. Obviously, both the Ferrari guys and the Red Bull sponsored teams would not want to race in F1 next season if their typical sparring partners are not included. The Ferrari lawyers are looking into what they can do to get out of that, or if the FIA has total power over their teams participation next season. For the conditional entry squads, they have a week to come to terms with Max Mosley or they will be out in the cold supposedly. This is both good and bad because it gives all the parties another week to see where they stand and it will also happen on a race weekend meaning that we may actually get to hear the comments straight from the horses’ mouths. The bad is that another week means that the two parties still haven’t gotten anything sorted out and that they are still firmly at odds. Will the next week make everyone come to their senses and work things out or will it just add to the dissention and make for an extremely tense British Grand Prix (which, as it turns out, is going to be even more volatile than ever with it being the last running at Silverstone and the BRDC President Damon Hill saying that he would support a breakaway series to be run at the track). Only time will tell I guess, but whatever happens, it should make for some interesting comments and racing come next weekend. I can’t wait.