Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has warned that as few as 14 cars could line up on the grid next season, if more teams are forced to quit the sport due to financial problems.
However, Ecclestone has hinted that more constructors could be in danger of disappearing from the paddock from 2015.
He told Sky Sports News: "It could go down to 14. If we lose another two teams that is what will happen. I can't predict if it won't or it will. But if it is 18, no drama at all.
"We need them [smaller teams] if they are going to be there performing properly and not moving around with begging buckets."
One suggestion has been for the more established teams to run three cars from next season, while Gene Haas's new F1 outfit isn't expected to compete until 2016.