After Super Aguri left the grid abruptly last season and Honda F1 announced its own pull-out - only to be re-formed as Brawn GP - and Toyota was considering withdrawal as well, confidence in the future of Formula 1 was at a low point. Since then, a host of rule changes and some very interesting pre-season testing have drummed up excitement to levels not seen in years. Now Bernie Ecclestone is talking about the possibility of three new teams joining the grid in 2010.

One team, US Grand Prix Engineering - formerly known as USF1 - has already announced its intent to campaign next season. The two others are not being released yet, but Ecclestone has confirmed to the AP that there will be 26 cars on the grid next year, up from the 20 cars and 10 teams racing for the championship this year. One rumored addition could be backed by Korean carmaker Hyundai.

The 2010 season is also planned to have a $50 million per-team budget cap, lowering the barrier to entry into the series that bills itself as the pinnacle of motorsport. Ecclestone's controversial proposal to re-work the driver's championship points into a contest to acquire the most wins was shot down last week, but there are still plans to implement the system for 2010.