Take a deep breath everybody; Bernie Ecclestone is about to open his wallet! Of course I jest as Ecclestone has often helped out teams who face financial difficulty (although often and ultimately to his advantage), but the FIA have announced that FOM will offer help to new teams entering Formula One next year. This further adds to the incentives of the budget cap also confirmed following the FIA WMSC meeting in Paris. With several parties expressing an interest in joining the sport, these new measures will surely add to the temptation.
It has been announced that Bernie Ecclestone will provide $10m of assistance to each new entrant in their first year of competition. This is a fairly substantial amount of money and should a new team take up the recently revised budget cap, it will enable the new team to enter the sport and if it all works, be able to compete with the long-standing establishments that have been around for many decades.
Furthermore, Bernie Ecclestone will allow the transportation of 2 chassis and another 10,000kg of freight to each race under his current scheme, usually only available to teams who have competed for more than three seasons. And as an almost silly aside given the grand scheme of things, Ecclestone will also provide 20 economy class air tickets to each non-European race per new team.
The FIA announced that applications for the 2010 season will be opened for a week, starting on May 22nd, whereupon it is expected that the current 10 squads will submit as well as the new USGPE (formerly USF1) and possibly Lola and Prodrive among others.
It is expected for the FIA to publish the list of entrants on June 12th this year, and new teams will be selected to a maximum of 13 (26 cars) and will be judged on their ability to secure finances for the longterm as well as also having access to facilities and to be able to compete as a constructor, much like the current crop of squads.