Since its inception in 2005 the brief of this column has been to provide readers with backstories to current (Formula 1) affairs, relying on in-depth analysis, respected sources, informed opinion, and, yes, downright speculation to do so. This week's column relies on all those listed components, with no apologies made for admitting that the last-named element features strongly - albeit founded upon information imparted by folk in the know.
However, lest it's said that sources are partisan, their information was crosschecked with players on the opposite bank of the political divide. When it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck there is every reason to believe the subject is indeed a member of the Anatidae family, and hence the topic of this week's column: That the concept of satellite (or A and B) teams is closer to reality than even many team bosses realise.
Having tried and failed (so far) to introduce the eight-team/three-car structure first revealed by this column two years ago, and after facing immense pressure over its straightforward customer car concept, it seems commercial rights holder Formula One Management has elected to focus on 10 (or 12 at a push) teams, with major teams supplying expensive components or services to associate or satellite operations.