The McLaren team welcomes the prospect of sharing track space with over a dozen teams next year.
Officially, the 2010 Formula One Championship will feature the participation of 13 teams, including the new Campos, Manor, USF1 and Lotus operations. With the BMW Sauber outfit
having found a buyer, the FIA has suggested that the regulations be amended to allow for a 14th team on the grid next season.
However the possibility of actually seeing 14 teams and 28 cars battling on circuits across the globe seems unlikely, given that rumours regarding the actual readiness of some new teams – and the possible withdrawal of at least one manufacturer – continue to persist.
Keeping things in a positive light, McLaren's Managing Director Jonathan Neale agrees with an old saying: 'the more the merrier.'
"I think a 28-car grid is really an interesting prospect," he told ESPN's Racing-Live on Tuesday. "I read the columns like you do and I listen to the paddock rumours; how many of those teams will actually get there is anybody's guess. I hope that they all do. I think that would be good for the sport."
Neale agrees that reducing costs and opening doors for new teams is in all regards very good and healthy for F1's future. Reaching that point proved to be quite an eventful process for all parties involved this summer, but the agreements worked out between the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) and the sport's governing body, which followed a period of incredible and unsustainable spending, were key.
"It's always good to see the spectacle of new entrants into Formula One," he said. "FOTA and the FIA have worked hard over the last two years to find a way where the business model will permit the existing teams which have been in the sport a long period of time to find a way through and get what they need from the business, and find a way of introducing some new entrants just to keep the sport healthy."
In regards to racing with a potential grid of 28 cars – or slightly less – McLaren's Neale indicated that the qualifying session will take even more importance as he expects that anyone positioned in the mid-field may have a very short run at certain Grand Prix.
"I suspect that Turn One at several of the circuits that we have at the moment, you really don't want to be in about P10 to P12 because that's going to be carnage," he predicted.
"But nevertheless it will be an interesting spectacle, and I think it will throw some surprises in there."
Jonathan Neale was speaking to ESPN's Racing-Live as part of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes pre-race phone-in.