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If I were in bernies shoes I would be very concerned when it come the number of entries on the grid. Why? A full grid is a good sign of a healthy and financially thriving sport whereas a disappearing grid is a sign of a financially struggling sport.
Just look at MotoGP...its in a state where factory competitors are disappearing right and left especially after the exist of Aprila, Kawasaki, and Suzuki. To fill the the needs of the grid Dorna had to swollow a posion pill and allow production bikes to race along prototypes.
Now imagine if F1 starterd to have a disappearing grid -- we could very well end up in a situation similiar to MotoGP...one where GP2-level cars are put onto the F1 grid to fill the need. Not only that, but a endless cycle of rule-making to allow both types of cars to be competitive.