Teams set to discuss third car concept
|By Jonathan Noble||Saturday, August 29th 2009, 08:54 GMT|
Teams are set to formally discuss the idea of introducing third cars to Formula 1 next year at a FOTA meeting in Monza, with Ferrari keen to bring the concept to life so it can run Michael Schumacher.
FOTA members are due to get together at the Italian Grand Prix to begin discussing plans to improve F1, and one of the ideas that will be brought up for evaluation is the chance to run a third car in selected races.
Ferrari has been the driving force behind the idea, with its president Luca di Montezemolo and team principal Stefano Domenicali both keen on the rule change that could allow Schumacher to make an F1 comeback in 2010.
"It is correct to say that, if everything is fine, why not see him [Schumacher] in one of our cars?" Domenicali said in an interview with The Times on Saturday.
"It is true that we are pushing [for three cars]. We feel that it is for the benefit of F1 and it is better to make sure that the biggest teams have three cars because that's what people want. With all respect to the smaller teams, the value of F1 is to have good drivers, great personalities in good cars and with a great brand."
A move to introduce third cars for 2010 would need the unanimous support from current teams although a longer term introduction for 2011 or after would only need a majority.
McLaren has confirmed that it would support the idea of third cars, if they were introduced in the right way.
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "My view on third cars is that we are not against it, however the priority should be that we make sure F1 has a good show and is a good spectacle. We want to try and ensure that all the teams are healthy.
"If you do all those things then you probably don't need a third car. We need to be sensitive to the fact that if there were three Brawns, Red Bulls and McLarens here, then it doesn't make it easier for the small teams. So we need to be willing and prepared to do third cars, but you should only do that if you have fewer teams present than we currently have.
"We should concentrate on working with the basics. It's an interesting concept and it would be nice to put a young rookie driver in, there are interesting angles. If we can do that then it would be nice to do, but if it's about getting the best three drivers in the best three cars then I am not sure it adds to the spectacle."
However, not all teams are so supportive of the idea of allowing teams to run third cars.
Frank Williams told AUTOSPORT: "Three cars? I would block it. It is not necessary today.
"One of the [new] teams that dropped out three or four months ago, they said that if we wanted a third car then they would be delighted to run one - at least it pays for the engineering and prototyping.
"I am sure it is the case for other people too and if you were Ferrari you could get 1-2-3 in every race, with more testing. It is obvious."