Originally created 11/19/02

Formula One could have fewer teams in 2003

LONDON -- Formula One might lose at least one team next season because of financial trouble in a sport trying to revive interest and improve TV ratings.

The Arrows team missed six of the final seven races last season and is struggling to find a new investor. Max Mosley, president of the governing body of motorsports, said Arrows was not the only team that could be missing in 2003.

There are two cars to a team in Formula One. The 11 teams from 2002 are reported to have paid a $310,000 entry fee for next season.

"It would be nice to have 22 cars but I think 20 is more probable," Mosley said during a TV interview for the launch of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. "Not necessarily because of Arrows but because there are another team or two that are not 100 percent in good shape. But we are keeping our fingers crossed that they will be there in March."

Minardi is also reported to face financial problems and Jordan is searching for a new main sponsor after Duetsche Post, Germany's partially private postal service, ended its more than $23 million deal with team.

Last month, Formula One announced sweeping changes to qualifying, testing and scoring in a bid to rekindle interest in a sport whose TV ratings have dropped in the wake of domination by Ferrari and five-time world champion Michael Schumacher.


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