Ross Brawn says he feels that any team hoping to compete in the 2011 F1 season will face a tough fight to make it onto the grid.
The FIA is currently considering applications from prospective teams hoping to take the place vacated by USF1 after it imploded just weeks before the start of the 2010 campaign.
Already, fancied runners ART have withdrawn from the race to earn the 13th slot on the grid while the American Cypher Group then followed suit – both teams citing finances as the reason behind their decision.
That leaves Epsilon Euskadi and Durango/Villeneuve as the two teams fighting to earn a place on the grid, with the FIA due to make a decision on who will earn the chance to compete within the next month.
That will leave the chosen team only a matter of months in which to put its programme together – in much the same way as Lotus did last year – but Mercedes chief Brawn said it wouldn't be easy for the team to prepare for 2011.
“I'd suggest it's getting pretty tight now,” he told the ITV-F1
website. “We've started our car for next year. Obviously the amount of effort and resource we put in is front line.
“I think teams can get cars together in shorter periods of time, as some of the teams demonstrated this year. But it's very difficult. It looks pretty marginal to me to get a team together in time for next year.”
Brawn added that he didn't feel the need for a 13th team to join the grid and said it would be better to focus on the teams currently on the grid.
“I also think we've got to look at the fact that we've got a pretty healthy grid now,” he said. “24 cars is a pretty good size.
“I don't think it would be a disaster if a 13th team didn't come in. What we've got to do is keep the teams we've got, and I'm sure the smaller teams at the back of the grid are going to close the gap next year with their second car.
“I think we'll have an interesting grid next year with the teams we already have.”