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The Weekly Grapevine

This week: the new F1 teams, and Williams' F1 Garage Sale

What is it about the water in Japanese and Chinese Formula One paddocks? A year ago, between the two Asian Grands Prix, news broke of two teams planning to enter the sport. The plans of both, certainly as announced, came to nought: Midland Group ended up buying Eddie Jordan's ailing outfit, whilst Team Dubai F1 has seemingly crept back into the Emirate's desert sands without as much as whimper.

Then, rumours surrounding the same Grands Prix this year suggested that as many as three operations were planning upon entering Formula One: a second team supported by Honda; an outfit fronted by Jean Alesi, allegedly to be funded by the Japanese Direxiv finance house (and GP2 sponsor); and, finally, in Shanghai Bernie Ecclestone confirmed his willingness to act as guarantor for a Middle East-financed team to be run by a former F1 team principal.

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