F1 field shrinks to 18 as Marussia, Caterham fail to make USGP trip

Financial troubles have forced Marussia and Caterham out of the next two Formula One races.

Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that both Caterham and Marussia will miss the United States Grand Prix – leaving a field of just 18 cars.

Speaking to Reuters, Ecclestone said: "Neither of those two teams are going to go to America."

Freight was due to embark to Austin on Saturday, and missing the USGP will mean missing Brazil as well. It remains to be seen whether either team can survive the current crisis and make it to Abu Dhabi.

While the focus all week has been on the future of Caterham, main rivals Marussia have been facing similar financial difficulties, and the situation has obviously been made more complex by the Jules Bianchi accident.

It’s long been rumored that Marussia investor Andrei Cheglakov wanted to see a car on the grid for the first Russian GP, and thereafter he would cut off his funding.

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It’s understood that under what used to be called the Concorde Agreement, teams can skip three races; so in theory both could miss the rest of the season and still survive in some form next year.