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Todt reveals newcomers could sit out three races

Jean Todt reveals that F1 teams can miss three races in 2010 – giving USF1 and Campos more time to resolve current difficulties
USF1 and Campos Meta 1 have been given a boost in their bid to make it onto the grid for the 2010 F1 season after FIA president Jean Todt revealed that teams can miss up to three races this year without penalty.

Bernie Ecclestone has been amongst the figures to voice concerns about the two teams, who have been hit by financial issues as they seek to take their places on the grid.

Both teams have currently signed just one driver and have yet to get a car running – unlike fellow newcomers Virgin Racing and Lotus F1 who have completed shakedown runs of their new machines.

Todt's announcement means that USF1 and Campos could wait until the Chinese Grand Prix in April before debuting in the sport but the Frenchman insisted that failure to contest a fourth race wouldn't automatically open up a slot for someone else to join the grid.

Stefan GP has already shipped equipment to Bahrain as it chases a place on the grid this season and is believed to be waiting in the wings should either USF1 or Campos fail to race.

“In the last draft of the Concorde Agreement, it is written that a team can skip three races,” Todt revealed, “even if they are not consecutive races.

“If one of the teams withdraws from the championship and doesn't make it, a new team will not be introduced automatically. It is always up to the FIA to decide if a team meets the requirements or not.”

Despite its lack of an entry, Stefan GP has pushed ahead with its F1 plans having agreed a deal with Toyota to acquire the machine it would have raced in 2010 had the Japanese marque not quit the sport at the end of 2009.

The team will run its car for the first time at Portimao later this month with Kazuki Nakajima likely to be one of the two drivers present, while Ralf Schumacher is also being linked to Zoran Stefanovich's Serbian team.

According to Autoweek, Romain Grosjean, Christian Klien and Bruno Senna – currently signed up with Campos – are also candidates for a drive, with the American publication reporting that sources in Serbia have stated that Senna has already been in contact with Stefan GP should Campos' F1 dream fall apart.


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