Should F1 re-consider three-car teams to boost competition?

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It's safe to say in today's Formula 1 there are a lot of drivers unable to achieve what their talents perhaps deserve due to the lack of opportunities to race at the front of the grid.

Names like Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean and more all of which should be competing for race wins and world championships on a regular basis, instead find themselves mired in the midfield with the ambition of finishing seventh and hoping for trouble to hit the untouchable top three teams if they are to get any higher. 

Of course, F1 has always had the situation where there are two or three teams that take the bulk of race wins in a season but the gap between those leading teams and the rest has never felt so insurmountable.

"I do think it's a massive difference, a difference that's way too big," Sainz recently commented.

"In my opinion at the moment we have two different categories in F1 and it's not what F1 should be about, you know, so hopefully it's something that will not happen next year."

The best example of the incredible disconnect between those at the front and the rest is Force India, the Silverstone-based outfit has had an incredible season so far dominating the midfield, they sit fourth in the Constructors' Championship, 60 points clear of Williams, and has had at least one car in the points at all but one of the races.

Yet for all their excellent results, only once have they beaten either a Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull without one of their cars retiring. Even then, the fifth and sixth they achieved in Montreal ahead of Kimi Raikkonen came as the Finn hit trouble late on.

Red Bull, despite having eight retirements across their two cars in 11 races compared to just three non-top 10 results for Force India, sit third in the Teams' standings 83 points clear of them because they know simply by finishing the worst position they'll likely get is sixth, a result Force India craves.

Then there is the possibility of joining one of these leading teams. Want to join Red Bull? Well, your name had better be Carlos Sainz and if it is, when another team offers you a seat the answer is no because we bought and paid your career.

As for Mercedes, it took a shock retirement to cause them to change their line-up and even then, the driver that the boss was managing at the time was really the only option.

Finally, Ferrari. Where a 37-year-old admittedly former champion who is, let's face it, past his prime can get the nod over a young fiery talent because if you're under 25 you may as well still be in school regardless of talent or potential.

So if you can't compete with the top teams and have very little hope of joining one what's to be done? There is a likelihood that several elements of the car are to be standardised which could help reduce the gap as would other cost saving measures to reduce the massive financial gap that is heavily reflected in the pecking order on track, but what about offering those top teams a chance to run a third car?

Currently, there are just 20 cars on the grid and plenty of highly talented drivers waiting to get a chance in F1. Why not increase the grid to 23-25 by offering those teams that can afford it to run an additional car.

It's not a new idea and would allow the likes of Sainz a chance to compete alongside Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen or Perez with Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel while, at the same time, freeing up seats at the midfield teams for new drivers like Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc to step up.

It's a simple way to bolster competition, bolster the opportunities for young drivers and perhaps, with the additional cost of a third car, equalise the development budgets among all teams which could level the playing field, something F1's new owners have promised to do.

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