In the biggest shake-up of the grid for years, Formula One will welcome three new teams to the fold next season as well as the return of the historic Lotus name. Cosworth too, will also make a reappearance, supplying engines to all four new entrants. The automotive engineering company have a long association with F1 stretching back to the 1960s, but unexpectedly dropped out of the sport at the end of 2006 when Williams and Toro Rosso sought alternative engine suppliers. Meanwhile, following BMW's decision to leave F1, Sauber will sit out next year, unless another team withdraws before racing restarts in Bahrain next March. Here's Motoring's guide to next year's newcomers.
The first Spanish team in F1's history takes its name from Adrian Campos, the team's principal. Campos was briefly an F1 driver in the late Eighties, competing for perennial back markers Minardi in 1987 and 1988. A decade later, he formed Campos Racing and guided the team to the 2008 GP2 constructors' title. Based in Madrid and Valencia, Campos have contracted Dallara, an Italian manufacturer of some note, to develop the chassis. Pedro de la Rosa, currently McLaren's test driver, has been linked with one of the vacant drives at the team.
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, the team plans to use American drivers for their assault on F1. To this end, Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti, and Nascar's Kyle Busch have all been touted as possible future US F1 drivers.
Ken Anderson, Team US F1's principal, is under no illusions about the task facing his start-up and earlier this year told reporters that "the creation of a new team in the world's toughest form of motorsport is not easy, but there is no doubt whatsoever that we will be on the grid in Bahrain." Peter Windsor will add his experience as the team's sporting director. Windsor has previously worked for Williams and Ferrari, as well as being a well-respected commentator on F1.
Owned by John Booth, a former single-seater champion, Manor Motorsport have a fine racing pedigree. The team are the most successful in the history of the Formula Renault series and also helped develop the careers of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen. Since 2007, Booth has concentrated the team's efforts on the Formula 3 Euroseries. In total, the team have claimed 170 race wins in all forms of motorsport since its formation in 1990. The F1 car will be developed by Nick Wirth and his Wirth Research company. He is a former chief designer at Benetton and his organisation has subsequently developed race-winning entries in the American Le Mans series.
Granted the 13th and final entry on next year's grid, the Lotus name makes a welcome return to F1 after a 16-year hiatus. Backed by the Malaysian government and based in the UK - although the team have plans to build a technical excellence site at the Sepang F1 circuit in Kuala Lumpur - Lotus have begun wind tunnel testing their 2010 car.
With all the hoopla that surrounds the return of such a historic team to the F1 circuit, Mike Gascoyne, the team's chief technical officer, is doing his best to manage raised expectations. "We need to remain realistic in our aims for the first year. We are a new team and we are starting our development late, so it will be an achievement just to get two cars on the Bahrain grid," he says. "I hope that by the middle of the season we will have established ourselves as the best of the rookie teams and then continue to make progress."