F1 race director Charlie Whiting doubts F1 will allow third cars

Proposals for Formula 1 teams to run third cars are unlikely to get sufficient support, says FIA race director Charlie Whiting - who admits he backs the idea

Proposals for Formula 1 teams to run third cars are unlikely to get sufficient support, says FIA race director Charlie Whiting - who admits he backs the idea.

Although it is understood that third cars are not on the agenda for Wednesday's F1 Strategy Group meeting, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has indicated that he hopes to bring the subject up.

In the past third cars have been rejected mainly because midfield teams are reluctant for frontrunners to field extra entries.

"My personal view is that it would be nice to have a few more cars," Whiting told Autosport, "but honestly I think it's very unlikely.

"It's fairly simple. The argument against it is if you've got a dominant team with three cars, then everyone's fighting over fourth and not a podium place.

"If you've got three dominant teams with three cars, then you're fighting over 10th.

"I can understand why everyone would baulk at that.

"It would be nice to have a few more teams capable of winning of course, but this year it's more competitive than it's been since the beginning of this engine era.

"Equally if you have a more evenly competitive field, [three cars] is a good economic model as far as one can see.

"This is why GP3 teams have always had three cars. For next year's [FIA International] F3 the plan is 10 teams with three cars each, because it's a good business model, because it enables the third car price to be lower.

"I would think that would work in F1 as well."

One issue that would have to be addressed is how many extra staff teams would be allowed.

"The rules are based around two-car teams, so a lot would have to be looked at," Whiting admitted.

"They're allowed 60 operational personnel. How many more would they need?

"There's a big difference between what they'd need and what they'd say they need.

"We'd have to decide what's the right figure. It wouldn't be 30, it might be 10."

Whiting believes logistical challenges such as the pit garage capacity at each track could be addressed.

"We would be able to manage," he said. "People would have to squeeze in a bit, and wouldn't have as much space."

Whiting is hoping that major chances to both the commercial and technical side of the sport that are being pursued for 2021 will boost the field anyway by encouraging new teams to enter.

He hinted at adjustments to rules covering partnerships such as Haas's Ferrari deal.

"Getting new teams, as we know, is tantamount to impossible at the moment," Whiting said.

"But that's something that we're hoping will improve, of course, if everything works out as planned, with the revenue distribution and the cost cap.

"The car will hopefully be regulated where the non-performance parts are standard or prescribed, and the performance differentiating parts are team only, where you can't get them from everybody else.

"A lot of the stuff that Haas currently buys from Ferrari will be prescribed or standard.

"However the suspension, brake ducts, air ducts, all of those are currently non-listed, so they are allowed to buy those, and there is huge performance in them."

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