The two teams thought most likely to be those over which F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has cast doubts for next season have both responded by insisting that they will be on the grid in Bahrain come March 2010.

While fellow newcomers Lotus and Virgin have revealed complete line-ups for their first season, Team USF1 and Campos Meta have named just one driver between them and continue to be surrounded by speculation that Ecclestone suggests might see them struggle to complete the step up to the top flight [see story here]. Both, however, maintain that they are on course to debut in Bahrain.

"I'm surprised Bernie said that," USF1 team boss Peter Windsor told BBC Sport, We will be there. We're in good shape. Everything is going well and we are looking forward to the year. We've just finished the chassis and are now in the hands of Cosworth."

While there has been much speculation about potential drivers for the Carolina-based team, Windsor insists that there is no rush to name names, with only Argentina's former Renault development scheme hopeful Jose Maria Lopez having been mentioned as close to a deal.

"We are trying to find the best drivers we can, but there's no rush," he maintained, aware that the likes of Jacques Villeneuve, Danica Patrick and Jonathan Summerton - amongst others - had also been linked to seats at USF1, "We have no date [for the car to fully completed] - it's difficult to predict when that date would be - but there will be a moment when we announce the drivers at the factory and that will be some time towards late January."

Campos Meta has at least inked one driver in Bruno Senna, and has reported that its Dallara-built chassis has passed various stages of the mandatory FIA crash test procedure, but also felt the need to respond to Ecclestone's doubts.

"My opinion is that Bernie does not have all the information," eponymous team owner Adrian Campos claimed, "We are working very hard. We are now very close to a title sponsor and a second driver. We will be there - otherwise we lose everything."

Campos confirmed that the team was expecting to take delivery of its first car in mid-January, while Cosworth commercial director Mark Gallagher confirmed that, while each of the company's five customer teams - the four newcomers plus stalwart Williams - were at different stages in their development, all were continuing to push ahead with plans for 2010.

"We've been working with the four new teams for six months and have only seen signs that they are preparing for F1," the Irishman said, "There is no indication that operationally there are any issues."


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment