sport

Bernie would prefer 10 teams

Bernie Ecclestone believes the Formula One grid still contains one too many teams despite the demise of backmarkers HRT.

For the first time since three new entrants were admitted into the sport in 2010, next season's grid looks almost certain to contain fewer than 24 cars after Spanish strugglers HRT failed to pay for an entry by last month's deadline, with one of the Spanish team's suppliers having last week revealed that the outfit had gone into liquidation.

F1 supremo Ecclestone has in the past criticised the three 'new' teams' performances since joining the sport - once labelling them "cripples" - and now admits that he only ever wanted 20 cars on the grid in the first place.

"I'd rather have ten," Ecclestone told Reuters. "I never wanted 12.

"It's just that ten is easier to handle, for the promoters, for transport. We'd rather have ten...so long as we don't lose Ferrari."

The 82-year-old also admitted there appeared little hope of a white knight arriving to bail out HRT.

"I wouldn't think that anyone would want to," Ecclestone added, bluntly.