British F1 driver Anthony Davidson and his team-mate Takuma Sato were thrown out of work last week - along with around 70 people on the workforce payroll - after the Japanese former racer Aguri Suzuki's team crashed last week with debts believed to be in excess of £50m.
By the time the transporters and motorhomes wheeled into the paddock at Istanbul Park, the number of competing teams had been reduced to 10 - and with no real prospect of that number being increased in the immediately foreseeable future. Aguri Suzuki's bid to break into the F1 big-time had proved a game effort, but in truth he was pretty much out of his depth from the start. His team never lacked competence, but always lacked finance.
From the moment they struggled into life in 2006, using re-worked Arrows chassis, one of which had done duty as a show car at Milan airport, they were a day late and a dollar short.
Sato and Davidson generally drove pretty well. They never had the equipment to offer a challenge near the front of the field, but they struggled, my how they struggled. But in the end what killed their hopes and dreams was the F1 community's collective unwillingness to permit so-called customer cars from the start of 2009. It was the same set of circumstances which torpedoed Prodrive's plans to run what would effectively have been a McLaren-Mercedes 'B team' in 2009.
Interestingly, foremost amongst the objectors to customer cars has been Frank Williams. Yes, yes, don't tell me about it: back in 1977 Frank revived his F1 operation by fielding a March 761 on a shoestring budget and held together by hope. Bought from a bloke called Max Mosley, as I recall, who was then sales director for the Bicester-based race car constructors. And manufacturers of customer F1 cars.