If it had been unforeseen, and warning bells hadn't been ringing for months, then the troubles of Caterham and Marussia this week could have been accepted as just another chapter in the long history of teams coming and going in Formula 1.
After all, since the F1 World Championship came into being in 1950, 164 teams have participated. Only nine will be on the grid at Austin. The potential for another two to join the 153 who are now historical footnotes may not be statistically of huge importance, but because of where F1 stands right now, it matters so much more.
After months of discussion about teams collapsing if costs in F1 were not brought under control, the events of the past week are much harder to stomach. It's one thing to be caught on the hop by circumstance. It's quite another to be given warning after warning and fail to react.