It only takes two cars to make a race. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have proved that numerous times in 2014.
So from a sporting perspective, does the fact that just 18 cars will be on the grid for Sunday's United States Grand Prix, thanks to Caterham and Marussia both missing the trip to Austin, really weaken the spectacle of an Formula 1 race?
Setting aside the very legitimate financial problems that this situation is a symptom of and focusing purely on the on-track product, the most obvious consequence is that the number of cars has been reduced by 18 per cent. By definition, that means there is less to watch.