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13th team place may not be filled in 2011

It is possible that formula one’s 13th and final team place for 2011 will not be filled.

It has emerged that Villeneuve Racing/Durango, Epsilon Euskadi and Stefan GP are all vying for the grid berth, but Italy’s 422race.com indicates that the FIA could actually leave the position vacant.

The website said the decision “will be down to money”, with the successful team needing to provide “an economic guarantee”.

It emerged a few days ago that Bernie Ecclestone wants a 16 million British pound deposit from the 13th team.

That deposit could be avoided, however, if the new team buys one of the existing teams, with the F1 chief executive admitting he is “not happy” with the performance of some of this year’s new outfits.

Autosprint magazine in Italy said Ecclestone’s attitude about the 13th team has been hardened by “the USF1 experience”.

It is now expected that the FIA’s decision about the 13th team place will not be made until late August.