Formula 1's struggling new teams, US F1 and Campos Meta, could miss the season opener in Bahrain next month and escape penalty, according to grand prix racing's commercial boss, Bernie Ecclestone.
Failing to contest a round of the World Championship for a reason other than "force majeure" traditionally subjects the offending team to a total loss of rights and exclusion from the sport, as a means of ensuring consistent grids for all races, Ecclestone told Britain's The Express newspaper that under the revised Concorde Agreement, teams may now miss three races before their official entry is handed back to the FIA.
"I think we won't see Campos and I don't think we will see the Americans (USF1)," F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone told The Express.
Ecclestone indicated he would prefer an entry to pass into the hands of the Serbian hopeful Stefan GP. "They have got the money from the Serbian government – I've spoken to the prime minister," Ecclestone said.
Team US F1 boss Peter Windsor last week denied rumors that his team was in trouble, insisting it was meeting all timetables to race in Bahrain as planned.