Mercedes boss Toto Wolff wants three-car F1 teams for young drivers

Allowing Formula 1 teams to run a third car for young drivers would be the best way to get new talent onto the grid, says Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff wants three-car F1 teams for young drivers

Amid frustrations about the lack of opportunities he has available for his junior drivers Esteban Ocon, George Russell and Pascal Wehrlein, Wolff suggested the current two-car limit should be dropped and a third car - reserved for a young driver - permitted.

"I have a simple solution," said Wolff, whose annoyance at the situation has led him to question the future of Mercedes' junior programme.

"Give us a third car. Make it mandatory to put a young driver, with maximum two years [of F1 experience], in that car.

"The costs wouldn't be huge. The grid would be packed and we would have fantastic shows of new kids on the block coming up and fighting hard with the Valtteris and Lewises of this world and surprising us."

Although Red Bull opted to run a second team to school its young drivers in F1, with Toro Rosso having brought through Sebastian Vettel (pictured below), Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, Wolff ruled out Mercedes making a similar step.

"Owning another team just to find a place for your young drivers doesn't make sense for us," said Wolff. "And I think the big teams are not going to take risks with young drivers.

"Now you can say that is boring. I think it is boring. I think we should take risks, we should put 18 or 19-year-old top talents in a top car and give them a chance.

"But the problem is that if you lose a drivers' championship or a constructors' championship because they are on a learning curve, that is obviously not great.

"We have not done it and Ferrari have not done it in the past. So we need to question it."

Ocon backed the idea of teams running a third car, but is sceptical that it could be achieved.

"If that could be the case that would be fantastic for sure," he said.

"But I don't see that happening, to be honest. I would like it to happen.

"It would create opportunities for young drivers like me or like Charles [Leclerc] or like George. A great opportunity.

"The costs [third cars] would bring for teams in difficulty, I think it could be tough.

"I don't want to dream too much about that and I try to think about the actual rules."

Ocon's F1 future is uncertain following current team Force India's takeover, with the driver moves related to that situation also the main factor in Formula 2 leader Russell's chances of getting on the grand prix grid next year.

Fellow Mercedes protege Wehrlein lost his Sauber F1 seat last season and returned to the DTM, which Mercedes is about to pull out of.

shares
comments
Haas Formula 1 boss Steiner hits back at Fernando Alonso's jibes
Previous article

Haas Formula 1 boss Steiner hits back at Fernando Alonso's jibes

Next article

FIA monitoring potential 'servant teams' Formula 1 controversy

FIA monitoring potential 'servant teams' Formula 1 controversy
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022