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.
For simplicity, the 'Honda' outfit will be named Team A, the Alesi operation, referred to as Team B, and the latest Middle East operation Team C.
But, to recap, last year Midland announced their intention of having a car designed and built by Dallara in preparation for entry in the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship. Work had allegedly commenced on the project, and this column at the time questioned why Midland did not simply purchase Jaguar Racing or Jordan Grand Prix to save themselves depositing the $48m bond as required by the regulations.