Rival F1 teams question Mercedes boss Toto Wolff's third car idea

Rival Formula 1 team bosses have questioned Mercedes chief Toto Wolff's suggestion that third cars could solve the problem of finding seats for junior drivers

Rival F1 teams question Mercedes boss Toto Wolff's third car idea

Mercedes is struggling to find homes for proteges Esteban Ocon and George Russell in 2019, with Ocon expected to be replaced by Lance Stroll before the end of the year, and Russell in turn looking unlikely to earn an instant promotion from Formula 2.

Rival F1 teams are reluctant to hire drivers who are tied to their competition. McLaren opted to promote Lando Norris to replace Stoffel Vandoorne and admitted concerns over Ocon's ties to Mercedes when making its decision.

At Monza, Wolff had suggested a third works entry for a rookie driver as a cheaper solution than backing a two-car "junior team," as Red Bull does with Toro Rosso.

Third cars have been raised in discussions previously, in the context of the grid shrinking if more than one team closed down.

"It's an interesting one. But the practicalities of running three-car teams - there are things like pitstops - it's a very complicated thing to do," Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Autosport.

"Interesting in concept, but once you get into the practicalities of it, it's very, very complex. I can't see the midfield being particularly happy with it."

While Mercedes, Ferarri and Red Bull usually lock out the top six places, an expansion of another three cars would likely leave the midfield competing for 10th and below.

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams confirmed that she would oppose any move to a third entry.

"We wouldn't be in favour of three cars," she told Autosport. "You've got team collaborations and then you're going to have three cars. Where does this end? It's another step in the wrong direction."

McLaren CEO Zak Brown admits he is not against the concept, but that the practicalities make it difficult to achieve.

"I like the idea of third cars, but how do you manage that?" he told Autosport. "I think there's room on the grid, but not for everyone to have one. Maybe you have them at certain races, but it's got to be equal and fair."

shares
comments
Jean Todt: Sergio Marchionne had mellowed about F1 exit before death
Previous article

Jean Todt: Sergio Marchionne had mellowed about F1 exit before death

Next article

How the top F1 teams' wheelbase and rake compares in 2018

How the top F1 teams' wheelbase and rake compares in 2018
The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

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