Why three-car teams isn’t a great idea

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Three Lotuses in the top four places at Brands Hatch in 1968

Three Lotuses in the top four places at Brands Hatch in 1968

Unhappy at missing out on the opportunity to get Michael Schumacher back in one of his cars, Luca di Montezemolo is pushing for teams to be able to run three cars again:

We’re continuing to fight until every team has the right to start with three cars in the next season (and one I’d have handed over to Michael with pleasure).

The prospect of having Grands Prix with 39-car grids has obvious appeal – but there are problems with the three-car plan as well.

More cars equals better racing?

The FIA’s decision to try to attract new teams for 2010 may have been politically motivated and long overdue, but nonetheless it is a welcome development that should increase grids from the meagre 20-22 they’ve languished at since 1998.

Similarly, allowing teams to run three cars instead of two appears to be a good idea. It would put more cars on the track – and those most likely to run more cars will be the ones with the best kit, meaning greater competition at the front of the field.

Plus, F1 teams had been allowed to run more than two cars in years past.

That’s fine in principle, but how well it works in practice depends on how teams embrace the concept. If Ferrari brought three F2010s next year, all the the latest modifications at each race, for Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica and Fernando Alonso, we’d see some mighty racing.

If Ferrari stuck one top-line driver in a car and gave him all the best parts, while the other two had to support him, we’d be back to the nadir of the Schumacher years.

Pushing out the smaller teams

The clue to the other problem with three-car teams is in this quote from Montezemolo:

I prefer three McLaren and three Renault to three “whatevers”.

This is a drum Ferrari has banged before. Back in May the team issued a press release saying:

Can a world championship with teams like [the 2010 applicants] – with due respect – can have the same value as today’s Formula 1, where Ferrari, the big car manufacturers and teams, who created the history of this sport, compete? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call it Formula GP3?

Three-car teams will shift the balance of power further towards the biggest teams with the greatest resources. Part of it is simple mathematics: with two-car squads at least four outfits have to score points every weekend – with three-car teams the top eight places could be filled by cars from just three teams, with one car to spare.

The argument in terms of costs is more complex. Although it would be more cost-effective to run three cars instead of two, it would increase the total costs of each team. This again would hit the smaller teams hardest.

In a worst-case scenario F1 might eventually turn into another DTM, with just two manufacturers filling half of the grid each, spoiling races by shuffling their cars around to put their favoured driver in the lead position. The occasional use of team orders we see in F1 today is tolerated (as with Ferrari at Shanghai last year), but if it was happening on a large scale every race weekend I think a lot of people would start to turn off.

To my mind, three-car teams looks like a seductively simple ‘quick-fix’ that would do more harm than good in the long term.

But you can always persuade me otherwise in the comments. Over to you…

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95 comments on “Why three-car teams isn’t a great idea”

  1. I agree with the article that three-car teams are a bad idea. Personally I would only want three-car teams if the alternative was smaller grids due to teams withdrawing from F1.

    As the limit for 2010 onwards is set at 26 car grids I would prefer 13 teams with two cars each, even if some of the teams had no hope of ever winning a Grand Prix, rather than having the existing teams use up the extra grid spaces with third cars.

    1. I agree – it just seems totally unfair the Montezemolo way.

  2. The points aren’t a problem as WRC did for years..
    Only 2 cars are nominated to score point!

    In a way more top cars and drivers are cool… but it does indeed have negatives as pointed out.

    1. I would be OK with a system that only allowed 2 out of the 3 cars to score, but my inclination lies in having more teams out there running.

      And I want testing back.

      1. Bigbadderboom
        15th August 2009, 12:04

        But the teams would then use their 3rd non scoring car as a defensive moving chicane stop any potential threat. To run 3 cars with only 2 scoring would leave McLaren and Ferrari simply blocking out other point scoring positions, it my opionion it would be a nightmare with other 2 car teams complaining about tactical use of the 3rd car. The disadvantages far outweigh any advantages.

  3. I agree Keith, it would result in too much domination by the big teams. Also, one of the things that makes F1 more enjoyable to me compared to the open wheel racing here in the States is that the teams/drivers are very clear and easy to understand. Having 2 cars that look identical, no more, no less, makes it more of a ‘team’ sport. When I watch IRL, Indy, CART, or whatever they decide to call it, it is harder to feel any team loyalty and it does get a bit confusing (annoying).
    I really don’t see why there is this constant need to change everything in the sport.

    1. I really don’t see why there is this constant need to change everything in the sport.

      Agreed. I think F1 wants to hold the record on (pointless) rule changes. I wonder how many fans are driven away by this nonsense.

    2. Well, now that you mention it, American Racing Fans don’t really support the teams or constructors: They support the drivers. I believe its more of an European thing to support the teams as much (or sometimes even more) as the drivers.

      On the main topic, the points system would have to be completely revamped, or eitherwise the constructors championship would wrap up pretty quickly.. just imagine if Brawn had 3 cars this season.

      1. thats because of the nature of the sport.

  4. I feel that an expanded grid is much better served by increasing the number of teams, not the number of cars per team. Keith has summed it up very well.

    I’d much rather see 15 teams of two cars each. Thirty cars would fill up the tracks very nicely, and make for some spectacular racing, I’d think.

    Now, if only we could get FiA to stop turning F1 into a “spec” series. Tech rules have to be more guideline and less rule, if ever we are going to see true innovation in the sport again.

    And with the cost reductions now firmly ensconsed in the new Concorde Agreement, new teams could be innovativly competitive, were the details of the rules relaxed a bit.

  5. It would be trouble with a capital T. I could just imagine all of the whining from a number of drivers.

  6. another bad point in 3 teams is you will need larger garages, which means tracks might refuse to edit there pits to meet the regulations for 3 cars.

    maybe they should think of an EXTREMELY cost effective rule change to allow every team even teams with less resources to run 3 cars without any problems eg less restrictions

  7. I was just telling on twitter earlier how I think it is a bad idea. I would prefer more to see more teams with 2 cars then 3-car teams. It could lead to 1-2-3 finishes and focus would come even more to big teams while smaller ones will scrape for points even more then they do now. I don’t see how it is cost-effective, building 3 chasis and paying 3 drivers would for sure be more expensive and we see how teams ”struggle” now to get updates ready for both cars.

    I think I would prefer more b teams before 3-car teams again…

  8. This is absolutely a ridiculous idea. It is very obvious that di Montezemolo is suggesting this idea just to accommodate schumacher. Schumi’s time is over!! i just dunno why people can’t accept that fact. We’ve seen great drivers come & go, some even die, but to change a rule just to accommodate this one man is just unfair. Luca is nuts & needs to consult a physiotherapist just as he did in 1999.

    1. oops i meant psychotherapist.

    2. I think LDM is saying this out of frustration with his current lineup: remember that many believe it was LDM himself who pushed Schumi to retire to make way for Kimi. Kimi may have won a title, but he’s not exactly been as successful as Schumacher was.

      LDM wants Schumi back to
      1. relieve his conscience of what he may have done in 2006, and to
      2. motivate the team to win the titles (whether it be with him or whoever his teammate is)

      1. but haven’t they won enough titles? after all it was during the schumacher era in 05 & 06 they lost both titles. people seem to be forgetting the fact that ferrari are the current world constructor champion(Dubious) but still. They are doing well without schumi.He’s 40+ & i dunno what’s he gotta prove to anyone? he has all the records in the book, however controversial they may seem. the only thing schumi will be doing by returning to ferrari is to wreak his team-mate’s career. do we want that to happen?

      2. And bringing Schumi back would be a huge boost to earnings. Valencia sold more tickets, betting companies saw a surge in orders, and I bet Ferrari has sold a bunch more hats and shirts the past couple of weeks.

    3. If Lou comes up with some idea, you can be sure that it would benefit Ferrari, not the world of F1.
      I agree with Keith : no 3-car teams.

  9. I would be all for 3-car teams if the grid would have decreased to less than, say, 7 teams. But now, with 9 + 3 + 1 teams on the cards, there’s simply no need.

  10. Heikki Kulta, a Finnish insider who is very influent, seems to know something about the Concord Agreement and the clause about the third car is in place:

    — At least 20 cars in grid guaranteed

    If needed, a 3rd car without points for drivers and constructors

    If a 3rd car finishes in top 8, it takes points away from the cars behind it

    Teams using 3rd car are drawn. They get 20% bigger budget for that race

    — Cheaper superlicenses: 1609 € + 440 €/point

    — No alternative series until end of 2012

    —Less power for FIA president: all regulations through FOTA technical workgroup and F1 commission.

    — Simple majority between teams will change rules

    — Only Ferrari will have a veto (They will keep this nonsense??)
    _______________________________________________________
    LINK: http://www.ts.fi/f1/uutiset/65878.html

  11. Isn’t the picture at the top of the article including the non-works Lotus of Rob Walker? Should a non-works team be held up as an example and be included in this discussion?

  12. I’m in favour provided that each team nominates two drivers at the start of the season who can score WCC points. All three would compete in the WDC of course.

    Why not? It would increase the competition and make it more likely that top drivers could compete in equal machinery.

  13. Or it could be that Ferrari are trying to accomodate Alonso with Kimi and Massa for next year as both Kimi and Massa have contracts next year…

  14. We already have a team with more than two cars. And it has used this structure to provide research and production scale, to evaluate drivers, to claim income from revenue sharing, and (until this year) prop up it’s lead drivers’ grid positions. Do we really want a series where the top teams are running test cars with, as it were, clipped wings?

  15. Hey, why doesn’t Luca just field 20 cars and no other teams compete, then Ferrari would be guaranteed to win.

    1. Good idea. A1GP anyone? ;)

  16. Three cars would be a disaster. Frankly I dont think it will ever happen. It is a silly idea at this stage specially for the current tracks. Just imagine 39 cars in Monaco? the race would be over before it even begins. The chance given for the safety car to come out will increase by factor of 50%. The race will turn into a dull train race. Chances that cars may crash out increases, chances that the front runners will hit traffic increases.

    Basically until the technical rules are adjusted so that overtaking is made possible, increasing the number of cars under current conditions would be catastrophic.

  17. Moo Point: Like a cow's opinion, it's Moo!!
    12th August 2009, 16:33

    Dear Luca,

    I have come up with a clever system that will allow you to run 4 Ferrari’s without the need to change the current rules.

    All you need to do is enter an “independent” team under the name of another of the Fiat Group brands and enter into a “support agreement” then you will have 4 cars. I mean if the designer from the new team (let’s call them Masseratti F1) happens to see the designs for the new Ferrari while hes having a factory tour then I don’t think anyone would be able to complain…

    Anyway, just a thought.

    1. Hush!!! Don’t give him anymore ideas!!! Monte will end up fielding Lancia, Abarth, Alfa-Romeo AND Maserati teams!!!

      He’ll be running out of TV sets to smash if it happens…

      1. LOL now Lou has Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep, so that makes, adding FIAT, nine teams.
        9 times 3 equal 27 — they have the whole grid covered.

  18. Kind of runs at odds with cost-cutting as well.

    Maybe Luca would like to see enough cars that they can all line up end-to-tail so that the fans on the tracks don’t have a moment without seeing cars on the track. Then we can also trust the FIA to checker-flag the wrong part of the worm and we’d have a whole new type of controversy to argue about.

    1. then we can also trust the FIA to checker-flag the wrong part of the worm and we’d have a whole new type of controversy to argue about

      ROFLMAO!!! di Montezemolo will make sure there is a ferrari at the tail-end of the snake :)
      Luca Badoer’s future looks very secure if thats the case :)

  19. Why can’t we just have 22 cars painted in red with the prancing horse logos on it? Luca?

  20. I agree with you 100% Keith. I suspect LdM is just stirring really, this can’t be a particularly serious plan. It does smack of desperate measures for desperate times…

    However I would not object to teams being allowed to use a third car for a third (young) driver to use on Friday practice if in-season testing remains to be banned; if they are worried about the costs surely they could use the spare car for this purpose on Friday, before reverting to the same format as now for Saturday and Sunday.

    Or perhaps as an off-the-wall idea, allow teams to run a third (young) driver on the Friday and the one who sets the fastest lap is allowed a wildcard entry into the qualifying/race proper? They could be exempt from WCC points but still count for the WDC.

  21. I love the idea of 3 car teams, or even one car teams. I’d much rather see 3 Ferraris or McLarens up front than a Team USGP or Epsilon whatever at the back. Or why not allow a private entry of the 3rd car, running as a separate team? This would allow a different sponsor, and inject new money into the sport. Ferrari could run an “Alonso team”, backed with Spanish money, for example, and I doubt team orders would enter into it. Plus, It would be awesome to see Rossi, or Loeb, or Schumacher in F1, even occasionally. I think the rules should allow more flexibility for the entrants, not such a closed shop. If it pushes out the smaller teams, even constructors like Williams, too bad.

    1. I think this is the way to go – allow low budget teams with just one car, one driver, one pit crew. They can have support from the bigger teams, and even be a training place for drivers and engineers, especially if they are using the same engines……
      Of course, the other thing to do is open up GP2 to allow other engines as well as Renault, so that all the major teams can have bona fide ‘Junior’ teams for the same reason. Or is that the thinking behind the new FIA F2?

  22. If the FIA are serious about having such large grids, surely it would be better to allow the numerous teams that applied to take part?

    Why would you choose 13 teams of three cars over 19 teams of two?

    1. Just thought I’d add a post a made on the forum a couple of weeks ago, a compromise solution to the third car proposal:
      ————–
      I was wondering about this… Is F1 trying to go all NASCAR?

      It would be pretty fun to have such a large grid but it would surely mean a complete re-writing of the points system, which would be a shame. There’d be less variety in which teams win races during a season too.

      Perhaps a better idea would be to allow the teams a ‘wildcard’ third car entry at selected events. Every team gets one race where they can do this, with the constructors champions getting first choice, then the second placed team second etc.

      So for instance, you might have a third Ferrari at Monza, a third McLaren at Silverstone, a third Toyota at Suzuka…

      Its a bit random I know, but for all my stupid ideas, I don’t think this is the worst. :)

      1. So for instance, you might have a third Ferrari at Monza, a third McLaren at Silverstone, a third Toyota at Suzuka…

        what about teams like redbull,renault(no french gp this year) & force india(assuming they are indian). where would they field their third car?

        1. Wherever they choose! It wouldn’t have to be nation-based – Monaco and Spa are great stages to put on a show, for example.

          Or say, for instance, Red Bull decide to give young Robert Wickens a run and pick Canada…

      2. This is a good concept to work on. Maybe every team can have one “guest appearance” a year, with three drivers, they can choose where. It would be a good way to reward test drivers, or other local good drivers.
        The problem is that most teams will choose Monza, Spa, Monaco, the few good tracks.

  23. Muawiya Younus
    12th August 2009, 16:59

    Luca is nuts…END OF CONVERSATION….
    XXXX————XXXX

  24. I think it’s a geat idea. A top dream will presumably have a top driver so there is another car mixing it up at the front rather than one languishing up at the rear (if it is at the expense of a smaller team).
    What makes more exciting racing? Seems obvious to me….

  25. I’m all in favour, always have been. I think 7 teams with 3 cars is a lot more realistic funding wise, than 12 teams with 2, with the worst 4 teams just blocking the road. I also think it would make team orders a lot harder to enact, and indeed enforce, and generally move us out of this period where one driver is favoured, one ignored. Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, a couple of wealthy independents like Red Bull, and a couple of constructors is all you need, especially if Pro-Drive/Aston Martin and Lotus make a return when Max is gone.

    1. I think 7 teams with 3 cars is a lot more realistic funding wise, than 12 teams with 2, with the worst 4 teams just blocking the road.

      I have to admit, I expect that kind of comment from Luca, but its a sad thing to hear from a Formula 1 fan.

      One of the things that riles me in our sport is the opinion of some that those at the back are worthless and have little right to be on the grid. For me, a Grand Prix season is characterised by the fates and fortunes of all the teams and all the drivers, not just the winners.

      Furthermore, the days of bad teams are long gone. Last placed Force India are a little over a second off the pace at some circuits. A few years ago that would have meant points and the odd podium.

      1. hear hear

      2. I agree 100%. And Daffid, I hope you’re aware the the people planning to bring Lotus back were just going to use the name….it wasen’t going to be the real Lotus company designing/building the car the way Ferrari/Toyota/etc.. operate theirs.

      3. The days of bad teams will be back next year – Manor, Campos and USF1 are all going to be a waste of time and an embarassment to the sport.

        Having watched all the 80s and 90s season reviews lately I was reminded of all the no hoper teams and drivers that came and went adding nothing to F1.

        I prefer quality not quantity. Give me three car teams where only two drivers score constructors points but can all score drivers points.

        1. This is exactly what I am talking about!!

          These three teams will be new and will have to take the first year as a settling in period, granted, but why on Earth does that make them an ’embarrassment to the sport’?? All teams have to start somewhere.

          Would you rather have some soulless manufacturer team that exists purely to sell road cars and then pulls out at the drop of a hat a few seasons later? Give me a team that exists purely to go racing any day.

  26. I agree with most comments here, three car teams are ridiculous when there is already a potentially full grid. In the past teams when teams have fielded three cars they have NEVER been able to field three competitive cars, and have generally struggled to field two equally competitive cars. That is still the case even for big teams, just look at the comments of Piquet on leaving about lack of a competitive car at Renault.

    Three cars just increases the tactical games that the big teams can play to try and ‘fix’ the championship and increases their revenue for little extra cost. Yes from Ferraris point of view it makes total sense, more control, more points, more money, more advertising space, more TV coverage etc. from everyone else’s point of view it would be a disaster.

  27. Le Mans already has 3-identical-car lineups, although a stipulation that only two can be run by the same management, if that makes sense. Audi-Sport and Joest-Audi run the R15s.

  28. What will poor codemasters do? They’ll have to re-write the entire AI program.

  29. Luca says Ferrari are “continuing to fight”. I suspect there’s more to it than just Schumacher.

    He needs to expand upon his reasoning for me, before I make up my mind. As it stands we’re supposed to have more cars next year, at least four and perhaps six if the tender process for a BMW replacement is successful (which itr could well be). So on the face of it what would three car teams be needed for?

    I can only think LdiM isn’t convinced about the new teams appearing, and/or worried about other manufacturers pulling out.

    I agree as it stands right now we don’t need third cars scoring points. Hard to see why you’d have them if they didn’t, other than out of necessity or basically to have team orders like DTM, as Keith says.

    So come on Luca, explain.

  30. The answer surely is to have 3 drivers.
    This way each team would have a ‘ready spare’ for situations like this, but more importantly, would keep all drivers competive.
    How many times do you here so & so is poorly, but still gets the race drive?
    My way would encourage experience for newcomers into F1.

  31. Stupid idea, we wouldn’t see mighty racing because if any two of the 3 cars were in adjacent positions, Ferrari would call the race off long before the end, and they’d just cruise round to the finish.

  32. For 3 cars per team then why not change the point system too, for example they could give points to top 12 finishers, that way there’d still be at least four teams to score points every race weekend.

    Large scale of team orders? I don’t know, we will need many Barrichellos in F1.

  33. Since “press attention” is the name of the game for all car manufacturers and sponsors, it is clear to me that all that LdM is doing right now is milking the “Schumi cow” for every last drop. And the press plays along nicely … ( sorry Keith ;-) ).

    IMHO, it’s just hot air.

    1. I don’t agree – the teams have talked about the ‘three car’ idea before. I think Montezemolo genuinely fancies the idea.

  34. i dont think there are enough quality drivers for any team to dominate the standings. maybe besides for ferrari with a line up of alonso, kimi n massa who else would be able to field a team with 3 strong drivers? with the likes of useless drivers such as piquet and bourdais, the 3rd and sometimes 2nd driver will be there merely to fill a role. i would have thought that teams would see it as a waste of money if only 1 driver was scoring points consistently (look at williams n renault) plus the added fact that the top teams will be taking all the points anyway, whats the incentive for smaller teams to field 3 cars?

    and can some1 explain how 3 cars is more cost effective than 2?

    1. For a rough example, let’s say it takes X amount of money to design a car, and Y amount of money to build car. For a two car team your total costs are 2X + Y. For a three car team it’s 3X + Y.

      The total cost for a three car team is more. But the cost per car is going to be less:

      For a two car team: (2X + Y)/2 = X + Y/2

      For a three car team: (3X + Y)/3 = X + Y/3

      X + Y/3 is less than X + Y/2, therefore, it’s more cost effective.

      (This assumes X>0, i.e. you are not able to build your cars for free or somehow make money out of building them. In practice two car teams build more than two cars as some get damaged, but three car teams would build more than three for the same reasons.)

      1. William Wilgus
        12th August 2009, 23:52

        You swapped X and Y in your formulas. They should be:
        X + 2Y, and
        X + 3Y.

        1. Well that kind of screwed the entire explanation didn’t it? Let’s try again:

          …it takes X amount of money to design a car, and Y amount of money to build car. For a two car team your total costs are 2Y + X. For a three car team it’s 3Y + X.

          The total cost for a three car team is more. But the cost per car is going to be less:

          For a two car team: (2Y + X)/2 = Y + X/2

          For a three car team: (3Y + X)/3 = Y + X/3

          Y + X/3 is less than Y + X/2, therefore, it’s more cost effective.

          1. You’re right that it is more cost-effective per car.

            But the goal for the smaller teams is to reduce total costs, not make the team more cost-effective per car – because I doubt sponsorship for the team will grow by 50% (or even close to that) when a 3rd car is introduced.

            Looking at Brawn’s lack of sponsorship so far, it is quite clear that even today’s sponsorship inventory can’t be sold completely. If and when the good times return and there is a surplus of companies looking to buy sponsorship inventory, running a 3rd car may well prove to be more profitable.

          2. Forgot to add this:

            The total cash-flow going from FOM into each team will not change simply by adding a 3rd car from each team. Unless we think it’ll improve the show by a significant amount.

            So, while it may be more cost-effective per car, adding a 3rd car will not offset the increase in absolute cost for the team by bringing in enough new money to the team. Though some day it could if enough money starts flowing again.

          3. lets put some $ to that to show the affects over an entire grid.(examples only)

            COMMON FIGURES:
            design cost 2$
            car cost 1$

            2 car teams (13 teams, 26 cars)
            (2$ + 1$ + 1$) x 13 = 52$

            3 car teams (8 teams, 24 cars)
            (2$ + 1$ + 1$ + 1$) x 8 = 40$
            [you can still add 4$ that 1 team running 2 cars would have to get a new total of a considerably less 44$]

            so the logic it there. for my the problem is not in the bottom line, but in the sportin, as mentioned several times above. so im not for it.

  35. It`s only a publicity stunt, but perhaps the future will herald a seven team lineup with three cars each?.

    1. This is very possible. In fact I believe in some years to come the new teams will fall out once again and Formula 1 will be left with those teams who can afford it the most.

      I do not believe that cost capping is going to work very effectively. The very nature of the sport, competition, technical evolution, growth and for that matter financial growth means that teams will find a way to make their developments more effective and more efficient if they have more money.

      In saying that, it is very possible indeed that in some time to come F1 will be left with 7-8 teams, and very possible that 3cars per team will be introduced.

      As it stands now, having 3 cars per team would be too much.

  36. Maybe Formula 1 would be better off without Ferrari. Maybe without Ferrari, each team could run three cars, and we’d have some good competition against teams that actually respect the rules, as opposed to Ferrari, who always seems to demand a rule change when it’s going to suit them.

    Ferrari is wrecking Formula 1 more than each team running three cars ever could. Sure Ferrari are historic in Formula 1, but they are just bad sports.

  37. William Wilgus
    12th August 2009, 23:55

    I’ve always thought that the manufacturers should just build the cars—not campaign them—and sell them to independent teams to campaign. That way, both championships, Driver’s and Manufacturers, would be more meaningful.

  38. If Ferrari genuinely want to run more cars why don’t they run a four car team like Red Bull/Torro Rosso…. they don’t need rule changes for that…. and because of bmw there seems to be a spare place for two cars at the moment ;-) …..

  39. i think one point we may be missing is that some circuits don’t actually have enough garage to support 39 cars!

  40. Prisoner Monkeys
    13th August 2009, 0:33

    I largely fail to see how expanding a team complies with the much-lauded cost-cutting measures. And how exactly would it work? Teams like Ferrari and McLaren may be able to field a third car, but smaller outfits like Brawn and Force India will not. Perhaps the third car should not be eligible for constructor points; otherwise, it’s going to be impossible for privateers to challenge, and constructors will see little point in staying in the field.

    Perhaps if the FIA opened up the grid to twenty-eight or thirty cars and we re-introduced a form of pre-qualifying for third cars. Third cars would be for young driver development; otherwise, teams like Ferrari will just stack their lineups with the best drivers. On the Friday, there would be an additional qualifying session or a qualifying race for third cars to sort out which of them will compete for the extra places in qualifying proper.

    In order to make things easy, the numbering would have to be such that third cars can easily be identified. Say Brawn win this year and decide to field a third car for 2010. Rather than running the numbers 1, 2 and 3, they would run the number 1, 2 and the third driver would get 28 (as 27 will be the last of the teams), kind of like the way they did it with third cars.

    I do think it’s incredibly arrogant of Ferrari to say that new teams shouldn’t be allowed into the sport simply because they don’t have the history associated with their names that Ferrari does. I think they’re feeling a little surly given that last year the Brawns (as Honda) were nowhere, but now they’re everywhere.

    1. Thats true. And teams have to start from somewhere. Ferrari, along with other big names at the turn of the last century were “whatevers” too.

      1. And with their constant bad attitude, Ferrari are forever ‘whatevers’ in my eyes. I’d much rather an F1 without them.

  41. I think 26 cars is enough. I imagine that 39 cars would be hectic, as all the cars would be spaced out after a few laps, and the blue flag would be out so much for slower cars that they would be constantly passed with little chance of racing against similarly paced rivals. The faster cars would probably have their ‘flow’ spoiled as they have to find their way past an overly large number of backmarkers, again interrupting the real race. And probably contributing to many accidents and disputes.

    Also, when I heard that quote, I immediatedly thought DTM even before reading on, because if Renault pulled out, then it’s just McLaren and Ferrari with 3 cars. If Williams or any other team had not ‘deserved’ 3 cars in the eyes of Ferrari, then would they continue in a sport where they were penalised for being less successful by being denied a car?

    Also just saw this, and made me think a little of last year…
    http://www.topgear.com/uk/jeremy-clarkson/clarkson-f1-12-1997

    1. Good link.
      Why last year only, may be even the one before as well?

      1. oops, i meant “may be the year before as well” :P

        1. I can’t think of any on-track penalties from 07, but things like the belgium penalty and bourdais being penalised, not massa in fuji made me think 08 was even more suspicious than I thought at the time.

  42. From a driver’s perspective, teams dont matter and it’s better to have all equal cars, so 3 cars team is better than 2 cars team IMO.

  43. While I wish they did this anyway, but would be a must in my opinion if they expanded to three cars is to have three teams. Separate pits, separate mechanics, separate everything. Three competing teams (or two) that are under the same constructor but would be unbiased towards the other car since they wouldn’t work on the other car would almost eliminate team orders while making teammates battling more entertaining. While it would devalue the constructors championship, it would ratchet up the drivers championship.

  44. The whole idea is absolutley terrible….

    First off, all of the cars on the track for an F1 race should be eligible to score WCC points, and all the drivers should be able to score WDC points. Otherwise, what’s the point of having them impact the race? What’s to stop a non-eligible car or driver from punting off a rival driver a la Schumi 1994/95?

    And if Ferrari all of a sudden wants 30 or more cars on the grid, why not camapign for a whole pile of the new F1 entries to get in? I alaways thought the reasons for only having 26 or os cars was garage/grid space at some of the older/smaller venues?

  45. I love the new “rule changes must be agreed by all” provision. Time for Ferrari to pack up and leave already because they have no common interest with the rest of the teams other than their thinking that a few brands should show up to provide the showcase for them. Little mummies boy Italian isn’t he?

    1. Ferrari or should I say Montezemolo is just talking , it wont happen. And yes finally someone sees that new Concorde agreement is great. Needs all teams to agree. So I think your post is somewhat contradictory! I dont think there is any necessity to throw punches at Ferrari since they completely agreed with implementation of that rule, and in fact they were a strong part in forcing to implement the Concorde agreement.

      If they say whatever doesnt mean its going to happen, it is as equally as important as whatever any other teams say or do.

  46. If Mclaren wanted a 3 car team, it would be a brilliant-esque idea?

  47. why are there no 1 car teams?

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      14th August 2009, 7:54

      Not permitted under FIA rules.
      Used to be the way that many privateers entered the sport, but it was felt that this was not a ‘professional’ enough arrangement.

  48. I remember the Yardley BRM team in the 70s with four cars or more. I think it would be great to have more competitive cars. Private entries of factory cars would be a way around things.
    What is wrong with customer cars? Williams started that way. Sure the hopeless ones will be further back but who cares about them. Get them to buy a good car. The main factories could make money selling cars so help their budget.

    1. Moo Point: Like a cow's opinion, it's Moo!!
      13th August 2009, 8:39

      I agree. I have no objection whatsoever to customer cars, and if a smaller team like Williams could make a small profit out of selling the cars on, then it would help them survive.

      I don’t understand the whole problem (some) people have with customer cars in F1 when it’s pretty common in other forms of motorsport (eg WRC).

  49. Part of it is simple mathematics: with two-car squads at least four outfits have to score points every weekend – with three-car teams the top eight places could be filled by cars from just three teams, with one car to spare.

    This from the person who wants the championship to be decided by race wins only…

  50. I’m against it, but if it is to be pushed through, i have a solution to the dilemna.

    borrow a page from WRC, where by FP3, the team would have to select which 2 of the 3 cars are eligible for constructor points, whereas the Drivers get the driver’s points. cars that are not eligible will have their points taken by the next one that is. and completely ban team orders, that’s for sure.

    it would be complicated, but i can imagine the havoc at turn 1 if 33 cars took to the start…. WOW… would re-fuel the carbon fiber industry for a 100 years…

    but again i’m against the whole 3 car idea, i say bring in more private teams, have the major constructors that dont want to field a team supply engines, and one type of tyre…de-restrict technology and development, limit testing you know all that makes sense to put the Fizz back in F1, without the excess glitz and expenses

  51. As someone else mentioned – just buy/create another sister team ala red Bull. Simples!

    And there is no rule I’m aware not allowing you to share your development with another team, stealing it yes, but not sharing.

  52. What’s with the samll team bashing? I for one would like to see more small teams, and I’m excited that we will be seeing new teams next year even if they won’t provide a stellar performance. Sure F1 needs it’s Ferrari’s and McLaren’s and they are very important to the sport, but IMO it also needs it’s Minardi’s, Arrows, Jordan’s etc.

  53. I say allow 3-car teams, but only the first two cars past the post count for drivers’ and constructors’ points (to discourage teams racing negatively to block other teams). And allow 1-car teams. With pre-qualifying (the 7% rule) if necessary.

    I take the point someone made that you don’t want too much blue-flagging. Maybe a 5% rule and a maximum of 32 cars on the grid.

  54. A consistent bullet train will be pleasant….but I’m afraid there will be massive derailment. By the 5th lap, backmarkers will pose many problems for the front runners. It seems F1 is running out of ideas and you can’t quantify a race with 39 cars without loosing quality. F1 is about FINESSE.

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