While McLaren made a public appeal on Tuesday for Formula 1's establishment to offer its support to the incoming teams, retired grand prix driver David Coulthard has come down on the side of Ferrari, which has been sharply critical of the new programs' efforts during the off-season.
"I have to admit, I have some sympathy with Ferrari's point of view," said the former McLaren and Red Bull driver in an opinion column for Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper ahead of this weekend's season opener in Bahrain. "Formula 1 is not a finishing school. Either you come prepared, or prepare to fail. This is the pinnacle of world motorsport.
"It's no use them bleating about the fact that the goalposts moved after they joined under a budget cap," Coulthard added. "The Formula One Teams Association never signed up to that cap."
Coulthard went on to say that the ongoing questions over the future of US F1, which ultimately was forced to shut down operations, and the failure of Campos/HRT to appear in time for testing, have been "a poor advertisement for F1."
"Has the world gone mad? F1 is a dangerous sport at the best of times but asking teams to just turn up at practice on a Friday before a race is plain irresponsible," Coulthard said. "Even if the new teams negotiate Bahrain without a hitch – and I hope they do – they will be miles off the pace."
Coulthard warned that HRT's rookie drivers, Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok, will be under heavy pressure to get up to speed right away. "One of the most dangerous things you can do in F1 is to go slowly on the racing line," he added.