Commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone has predicted that Formula One could welcome as many as six cars to the grid in 2010, when a new budget cap rule is set to be introduced to the sport.

The FIA World Motor Sport Council announced last week that it planned to bring in a budget cap of ?30 million, with team's signing up for the cap being given greater freedom than those teams that elect to operate outside it.

The Formula One Teams Association, which had proposed its own way to reduce the costs involved in competing in the sport, said it was concerned by the measures suggested by the governing body but Ecclestone insisted that not only would it happen, but that there were teams waiting in the wings to join the grid when it does.

"It is set at ?30 million," he told BBC Radio Five Live when asked if the cap would be set at ?30 million. "It's not if it's going to be [?30 million], it is. That is going to happen, it's been agreed.

"I'm hoping we can get 26 cars, that's how it used to be, 26 cars. I think quite a few [teams] are waiting in the wings and I think one of the engine manufacturers has got four orders already.

"The problem there will be, or the thing that concerns me a bit, is that there will have to be pre-qualifying."

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