F1's top teams deny hidden agenda to drive small teams out

Leading Formula 1 team bosses have rubbished suggestions there is an agenda to drive the small outfits out of Formula 1

F1's top teams deny hidden agenda to drive small teams out

Leading Formula 1 team bosses have rubbished suggestions there is an agenda to drive the small outfits out of Formula 1.

Renewed talk of customer cars, as well as speculation about third car plans, has left F1's minnows fearful that there is a big scheme to get rid of them.

But Red Bull and Mercedes are adamant that there is no desire from them to see small teams go.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said: "No, not at all. Certainly our position, Red Bull's position, is we want to see a full grid of two car teams.

"We have an obligation, as do a couple of other teams, that if the numbers drop below a certain number then we will be required by the promoter to field a third car.

"The numbers haven't dropped significantly low enough and we haven't been requested by the promoter to run a third car

"However, our preference is that we have at least 10 healthy competing two-car teams."

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said that it was not the job of the big teams to help smaller outfits - but was hopeful that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone would take care of things.

"I think that CVC and Bernie are looking at the situation and are discussing what can be done to make life easier for them," he said.

"On one side my job is to look after Mercedes in Formula 1. We want the small teams to continue to compete, but we should be careful in stepping over the line and being too vocal for what is a relationship deal between the commercial rights holder and the teams.

"We can add our bit if it's necessary, for the sake and benefit of F1, but the first priority is the relationship between the commercial rights holder and the teams."

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