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Whiting: Three-car F1 teams 'would work' but never be accepted

Written by  Sep 21, 2018

FIA race director Charlie Whiting has admitted he would not be against the idea of allowing three-car teams in Formula 1 but doubts it could ever get the go ahead.

The concept has been a hot topic in recent weeks after Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff suggested it could be used to help young drivers find a place on the grid, as he desperately seeks to keep Esteban Ocon in F1 while promoting George Russell from F2.

Red Bull among others have shot down the possibility on feasibility grounds and Whiting believes smaller outfits would have another obvious reason for dismissing it.

“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," he told Motorsport.com

“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."

Should the competitive order close up between all the competing teams, however, the Briton does actually think it would make sense.

"If you have a more evenly competitive field, [three cars] is a good economic model as far as one can see," he continued.

“This is why GP3 teams have always had three cars. For next year’s [FIA International] F3 the plan is 10 teams with three cars each. 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.”

The regulations would need to be overhauled too though, with considerations such as the limit of personnel per team and the amount of garage space a three-car squad would require and that's why Whiting ultimately thinks more teams is the answer.

“Getting new teams, as we know, is tantamount to impossible at the moment,” he admitted initially. “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 huge performance in them.”

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