Dec.8 (GMM/ F1 will not miss the collapsing backmarker teams Caterham and Marussia.

That is the claim of former grand prix driver Jarno Trulli, whose own career started in the mid 90s right at the back of the grid.

However, now 40 and an owner-driver in the Formula E series, Italian Trulli said that the Minardi days were different.

“It’s true that small teams have always been there,” he is quoted by “But they were good teams.

“Take Minardi — they had young drivers but not just because they pay but because they had talent.

“Most of these drivers then stepped up in F1, while I doubt that any Caterham or Marussia driver will make the same leap,” said Trulli, who went on to drive for Renault and Toyota.

“The big mistake F1 made,” he added, “is to let the manufacturers go elsewhere. This marked the end of the golden age, which I had the honour to be able to live.

“Today the situation is totally different, with a few real teams and many other small teams trying to stay alive,” added Trulli.

FIA president Jean Todt has confirmed that even if Marussia and Caterham do collapse, an 18-car grid is sufficient for 2015.

“In 2016 we will have a new team,” the Frenchman is quoted by Italy’s Autosprint, “so at worst we will have 18 cars in 2015 but 20 the following season.”

Trulli agrees that F1 can survive for now without the struggling backmarkers.

“Unfortunately,” he said, “Bernie Ecclestone was right when he said that some teams are just disorganised. They don’t give anything to formula one.”