Bernie Ecclestone

Following the culmination of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship, slots were granted to four new teams for the upcoming season. They were all ecstatic about the prospect of dicing it with the likes of McLaren and Ferrari, but not all of them are guaranteed to make it when the flag waves at Bahrain in just a couple months' time. This comes right from the mouth Bernie Ecclestone, F1's notoriously outspoken commercial director.

Rumors have been circulating for months that at least two of the teams – USF1 and Campos Meta – were having trouble finalizing their car designs and getting their houses in order. The other two newcomers – Lotus and Virgin – have hardly been immune to the rumors, either.

Given the difficulties involved in designing, building and fielding two new cars from scratch, Ecclestone doubts all four will be ready to start the season, much less see it through to the end. Bernie's solution would have been to allow the newcomers to purchase chassis from any of the established teams, and field just one car to start off. Good idea or not, it's a little late at this point, so we'll just have to sit back and see how it unfolds.

[Source: Autosport | Image: AFP/Getty]