Without a rapid solution to the teams' FIA standoff, Force India and Brawn will be the next current teams to imminently sign up for the 2010 world championship.
It is now believed that the crisis is indeed nearly over, after at a Heathrow meeting on Wednesday, the FOTA alliance apparently agreed a compromise that is likely to be accepted by Max Mosley.
But with Friday still looming as the deadline for next year's entries, any further delays will result in Brawn and Force India - who like Williams see F1 as their core and only business - also breaking ranks and lodging the 2010 paperwork.
It is understood that, when Sir Frank Williams and team CEO Adam Parr were asked to leave the meeting room on Wednesday, Force India and Brawn did not join the other FOTA members in voting to expel the Grove based team.
As reported on Wednesday, however, the FOTA alliance is unlikely to fracture further, with Mercedes' Norbert Haug and McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh receiving much of the credit for the compromise that is now likely to speed towards a handshake deal.
The deal will involve a 100m euro budget cap next year, before Mosley's 45m figure arrives in 2011. As a sweetener for the teams, one more staff member per team - like Red Bull's highly-paid Adrian Newey - can be excluded from the cap in addition to the drivers and boss.
FIA president Mosley told La Gazzetta dello Sport this week: "I am willing to compromise, but only if small and new teams can operate with much lower budgets and are not much slower than the others."
The details of the technical compromises are still sketchy, but it is understood that component and informing sharing, and even the sanctioned use of whole customer cars in 2010, could be among them.
Mosley added: "I am very optimistic about a solution. The big and small teams have very different interests and we have to protect everyone.
"Will Ferrari enter by Friday? I think so. I am optimistic and confident. Ferrari is very important for formula one, but formula one is very important for Ferrari as well," he added.