F1 grid missing "at least two teams" - 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.

F1 grid missing "at least two teams" - 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 Racing Point 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 Motorsport.com: “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 tied 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.”

George Russell, Mercedes AMG F1

George Russell, Mercedes AMG F1

Photo by: Manuel Goria / Sutton Images

shares
comments
Vandoorne keen to emulate Magnussen's "fresh start"

Previous article

Vandoorne keen to emulate Magnussen's "fresh start"

Next article

The F1 perfectionist who pushed too soon

The F1 perfectionist who pushed too soon
Load comments
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021