With just over three weeks to go before the F1 teams gather in Bahrain for the opening round of the world championships more question marks are hanging over the participation of both the US F1 and Campos Meta teams, neither of whom are ready to participate in this week’s test at Jerez or next week’s final pre-season session at Barcelona.
This isn’t a matter of life and death in itself, but since neither Campos’s Bruno Senna nor USF1’s Jose Maria Lopez have yet qualified for a super licence, they will both need to cover 300km of ‘observed testing’ before turning up at Sakhir for the opening race. Unless they do that – as Force India’s nominated third driver Paul di Resta was scheduled to complete today at Jerez – then they won’t be permitted to compete at the first race.
One way out, I suppose, would be for US F1 to buy the Dallara chassis that Campos obviously hasn’t got the cash to pay for, but it’s getting a bit late in the day for that sort of muddled compromise.
Oh yes, and just to be clear, a colleague in one of the established teams confirmed to me this week that he’s trawled through a copy of the Concorde Agreement and there is no – absolutely no – provision for a team to miss any races; one, two, three, or four.
Jean Todt, the FIA president, has also made this crystal clear. So where this leaves Senna and Lopez, or their teams, is anybody’s guess. A sad state of affairs indeed.