Up until very recently, missing a grand prix was considered to be one of Formula One’s greatest sins and frowned upon by the sport’s commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone. The repercussions of such tardiness were often met with huge fines, and as teams that missed races in the past were usually doing so due to other financial difficulties, when a squad failed to arrive at a circuit they were rarely seen again.
However, with a new Concorde Agreement in place, it would appear that an understanding has been met among those signatories that allows teams to miss up to 3 races before being shown the exit of the sport and the entrance of the courtroom. This apparent agreement was presumably made with the new teams in mind, particularly if they cannot build a chassis and pass the relevant crash tests in time for Bahrain in mid-March.
The FIA have published a statement saying that should a team miss a race, it would not go unnoticed and would constitute a breach of the Concorde Agreement and the FIA regulations. This of course implies penalties and more than likely, a forfeit of revenues.
From a sporting and regulatory point of view, each team that has registered for the championship is obliged to take part in every event of the season.
Any failure to take part, even for just one championship event, would constitute an infringement both of the Concorde Agreement and the FIA Regulations. FIA Statement.
Is it acceptable for a team to miss an event, for whatever reason, or should the sport stick to its recent traditions and enforce the participation of every grand prix under penalty of exclusion/courtroom hearings? While it is never nice to hear of teams going into battle with the governing body and/or the commercial rights holder, having every team at every race does mean consistency, competition and at the end of the of the day, sport. Or is the hard-and-fast rule failing to take into account the hardships of recent times and the fact the sport now has more teams competing, and therefore one or two may not necessarily be missed?