Most of us have been watching this year’s Formula 1 season wondering when a team was going to drop out of the running. The most obvious candidate was Caterham, who at one point even struggled to pay for tires and whose manufacturer just declared bankruptcy. Indeed, the Caterham team has now dropped out of the race next weekend in Austin. They aren’t leaving Formula 1 entirely(at least not yet,) but they won’t be racing in the United States Grand Prix. We have heard talks of bankruptcy, but nothing is for certain yet. While the Caterham team sorts out its fate, Bernie Eccelstone has given the team special permission to sit out the United States Grand Prix and the Brazilian Grand Prix.
However, now we have news that a second team will be joining them- Marussia. After the team switched hands earlier in the season, the Formula 1 team has been in secretive but obvious financial peril. The Marussia team is financially stricken after the Jules Bianchi crash, and they recently failed to secure sufficient cash to transport their cars and equipment from their base in England to the race in Austin, Texas next weekend. Also of note, it isn’t likely that the team will be able to make it to Brazil either, as that would cost even more. However, with an added week, there is a small chance that they may produce sufficient cash, but don’t hold your breath. One rumor is that the Russian owners have put increased financial restrictions on the team while they aim to sell it, but this is unsubstantiated.
The fact that both teams are sitting out Austin has been directly confirmed by Bernie Ecclestone, as he remarked to the BBC,
“Neither of those two teams are going to go to America.”
The news that the grid has dropped to a mere 18 cars, re-raises the question of three car teams, which Bernie had said was a possibility for next season a few months ago. However, don’t count on that this season, as it would require a sixty day period for teams to ready a third car. With two teams almost certainly off the grid for next season, and a couple of others in question, the prospect of three car teams is a definite possibility for 2015.