OK, it was. But the FIA rules could well be as daft as that for the mysterious processes they arrive at. And don't forget, they're allowed to ignore the rule if the commercial rights holder isn't very tall!
Ecclestone has been throwing his tuppence worth in again, tipping Stefan F1 for a spot on the 2010 grid. He's also backing Ralf for a drive ( ). Apparently Stefan is a who's who of rejected F1 people, featuring as it does Coughlan and Ryan from McLaren on the books and Kolles from Spyker/Midland/<insert team name here>
Found this picture of what is supposed to be the Toyota TF110 or Stefan GP01 (or whatever they care to call it). I presume it is this years car as the nose is quite different to the TF109 but, compared to the other teams, they don't appear to have put as much effort into the front wing.
The lack of tyres will also bugger up his plans to provide a through season testing service to other teams as well. Not much point trying to get young drivers up to speed in an F1 car if the car can't get up to speed because it's not on the right rubber.
I can't see how he can get on the grid this year because to admit Stefan F1 is to admit that the original selection process was a total failure (which we all know it was) and the FIA always want everything done on their rules and not have someone come in and upset the apple cart. USF1 look like they aren't going to make it but somehow I think they're entry will be left to fizzle out rather than let Stefan F1 in.
Who does the vetting of what teams get the entry though? Is it the FIA or is it FOM? Obviously teams have to agree to abide by the FIA rules, but I have a funny suspicion that the contract to enter is dealt with by FOM...