Driver market shows F1 is lacking 'at least two teams', says Russell

Formula 2 championship leader and Mercedes protege George Russell believes Formula 1 is lacking "at least two teams" after his prospects of securing a 2019 drive have faded

Driver market shows F1 is lacking 'at least two teams', says Russell

Russell turned down a first Free Practice outing of the year ahead of the Italian Grand Prix as he focuses on his fight with 2019 McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris for the F2 title.

While Norris's future is secure the rapid changes in F1's driver market in recent weeks has put Russell's graduation in doubt as Mercedes struggles to find a place for him and likely Force India exile Esteban Ocon.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff suggested F1 should make third cars available to teams with young drivers, and Russell told Autosport: "I feel like Formula 1 is currently lacking at least two teams.

"We only have 20 cars on the grid, as a young driver trying to break into that 20 is extremely difficult.

"I think the idea of a third car, or something along those lines, is a very good idea.

"You sometimes see the pay drivers getting into Formula 1, and potentially they could come in for their home race: an Asian driver comes in for the Asian races, the American drivers come in for the American races and so on.

"It gives the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull the chance to throw their young drivers in without any major issues."

Rival F1 teams are reluctant to hire drivers who have ties to their competition.

Wolff admitted this problem, and the consequence of Mercedes struggling to get its drivers into F1 means he will consider the future of his company's junior programme.

Some of Mercedes' rivals have reacted negatively to Wolff's suggestion of a third car, questioning the cost and practicality of such a measure.

But Russell believes third cars would be a worthwhile expense for those that could afford it.

"Formula 1 is an extremely expensive sport because of the development, not because of the actual cost of the building the front wings or whatever," he said.

"The money is spent in the windtunnels, on the designers' salaries, the time and effort to design the cars.

"To make three wings instead of two is not going to be a huge additional cost. [Or] a third chassis compared to two.

"Obviously it's an increased cost, but it's not much for the spectacle it could give Formula 1."

shares
comments
Vettel sad to say goodbye to 'zero bull****' F1 team-mate Raikkonen

Previous article

Vettel sad to say goodbye to 'zero bull****' F1 team-mate Raikkonen

Next article

The F1 perfectionist who pushed too soon

The F1 perfectionist who pushed too soon
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jordan King , George Russell
Author Scott Mitchell
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021