FIA president Jean Todt has confirmed reports that F1 teams may sit out three grands prix in 2010 without penalty.
Amid speculation that some of the sport’s four new teams are struggling to get up and running ahead of next month’s Bahrain season opener, Bernie Ecclestone hinted at the measure to a British newspaper last weekend.
And he is quoted as saying by France’s Auto Hebdo that Campos and USF1 are “asking to miss the first three races”.
“In the last World Council the opportunity for a team to not participate in three rounds of the championship, also not consecutively, was granted,” Todt is quoted as saying by Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.
It is believed, however, that the new entrant funding promised by Ecclestone may be jeopardised if teams do skip races.
Ecclestone is pushing hard for the Serbian hopeful Stefan GP to be first in queue to race this year should one of the confirmed teams collapse.
But Todt clarified: “If a team drops out of the championship, the insertion of a new team is not automatic.
“It is always up to the FIA to decide whether someone is eligible or not,” he added.