This article has appeared on the official Ferrari website. A bit like the previous "Ten Little Indians" piece we have no idea who wrote it or what it is supposed to mean. Maybe it lost something on its way through the "Babelfish" translation machine. Anyway, we post it verbatim for you to make your own minds up....
Maranello, 22nd February - Only less than three weeks to go until the ultimate form of motor sport, the Formula 1 World Championship, gets underway, while celebrating its sixtieth birthday this year. For many of the teams, this coming week is a crucial one, as the bell rings to signal the final lap, with the last test session getting underway in Barcelona. It is one last chance to run the cars on track, to push reliability to the limit and to try and find some performance. That’s the situation for many teams but not for all of them. Of the thirteen teams who signed up, or were induced to sign up, for this year’s Championship, to date only eleven of them have heeded the call, turning up on track, some later than others, and while some have managed just a few hundred kilometres, others have done more, but at a much reduced pace. As for the twelfth team, Campos Meta, its shareholder and management structure has been transformed, according to rumours which have reached the Horse Whisperer through the paddock telegraph, with a sudden cash injection from a munificent white knight, well used to this sort of last minute rescue deal. However, the beneficiaries of this generosity might find the knight in question expects them to fulfil the role of loyal vassal. All this means, it is hard to imagine the Dallara designed car showing its face at the Catalunya Circuit, with Sakhir a more likely venue to witness the return of the Senna name to a Formula 1 session.
The thirteenth team, USF1, appears to have gone into hiding in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the dismay of those like the Argentinian, Lopez, who thought he had found his way into the Formula 1 paddock, (albeit with help from chairwoman Kirchner, according to the rumours) and now has to start all over again. Amazingly, they still have the impudence to claim that everything is hunky-dory under the starry stripy sky.
Next, we have the Serbian vultures. Firstly, they launched themselves into a quixotic legal battle with the FIA, then they picked the bones of Toyota on its death bed. Having got some people on board, around whom there was still a whiff of past scandals, they are now hovering around waiting to replace whoever is first to drop out of the game, possibly with backing from that very same knight in shining armour whom we mentioned earlier.
This is the legacy of the holy war waged by the former FIA president. The cause in question was to allow smaller teams to get into Formula 1. This is the outcome: two teams will limp into the start of the championship, a third is being pushed into the ring by an invisible hand – you can be sure it is not the hand of Adam Smith – and, as for the fourth, well, you would do better to call on Missing Persons to locate it. In the meantime, we have lost two constructors along the way, in the shape of BMW and Toyota, while at Renault, there’s not much left other than the name. Was it all worth it?