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Third F1 cars "very unlikely" to happen, says Whiting

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Third F1 cars "very unlikely" to happen, says Whiting
By:
Sep 19, 2018, 8:23 AM

Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting says he would like to see teams allowed to run third cars – but he concedes that the idea will not get much support.

Although it is understood that third cars are not on the agenda for today's F1 Strategy Group meeting, Mercedes 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 understandably reluctant to see the frontrunners fielding extra entries.

"My personal view is that it would be nice to have a few more cars," Whiting told Motorsport.com, "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, it's a good economic model as far as one can see. This is why GP3 teams have always had three cars.

"Next year's 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. They're allowed 60 operational personnel," Whiting added.

"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 that logistical challenges such as the pit garage capacity at each track could be addressed.

"We would be able to manage. 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 by encouraging new teams to enter Formula 1.

"Getting new teams, as we know, is tantamount to impossible at the moment. 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 a huge performance in them. That's what we're hoping, anyway."

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Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper