Do you want three-car teams? (Poll)

Ferrari want three-car teams in Formula 1

Ferrari want three-car teams in Formula 1

Yesterday we saw Ferrari banging the drum for three-car teams once again. But our debate around their now-infamous rant led us to a very different idea – why not let teams run a single car if they choose to?

I decided it’s time to put the question to a vote among F1 Fanatic readers:

How many cars should F1 teams be allowed to enter?

  • Two (the current rule) (47%)
  • One or two (15%)
  • Two or three (18%)
  • One, two or three (13%)
  • Any number (6%)

Total Voters: 4,593

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In the past, teams could enter any number of cars they liked in any race.

But this created the problem of fluctuating grid sizes. Typically the European rounds would be very well-attended but only a handful of cars made it to the ‘flyaway’ rounds.

Requiring teams to enter the same number of cars at each race is definitely the correct approach. But how many cars should that be?

At the moment every team has to enter two cars at every round. In other series where teams have to build their own cars it’s typical to see teams of more than two cars: like endurance racing, for example.

Ferrari wants to be able to enter a third car in F1 which, as discussed before, would boost grid sizes but could make it easer for one team to dominate and squeeze out their smaller rivals.

On the other hand I think there’s something to be said for letting teams enter just one car instead of two if they choose. It could help new teams get started in F1 by running a cheaper one-car effort in their first season but requiring them to run a full two-car squad after that.

Should F1 follow Ferrari’s repeated demands to be allowed to run a third car? Should one-car teams be allowed again? Or are we best off not tampering with the two-car system? Cast your vote above and have your say in the comments.

Image (C) Ferrari spa

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126 comments on Do you want three-car teams? (Poll)

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  1. nice post, I like that indy teams can field as many cars as they want! A one car team would be nice in a way.
    But the difference is they ‘field’ one car, here you need to make and develop the car. You can’t ask the same sponsorship, and I don’t think it would be better for the cost.
    One extra on the other hand might be more profitable looking at extra cost and extra income from sponsors.
    Wich bring up another point.
    Why can’t teams be allowed to have different sponsors on both their cars (Remember BAR being dissallowed to run 2 liveries). It would be a good option in these hard times for sponsorship!

    The idea of having a year old car run by an external team might be a nice option aswell.

  2. Pingguest said on 24th February 2010, 13:37

    Any number of car per team and the re-legalisation of the customer chassis could well reduce costs, fill the starting field and making all other ‘cost-cutting’ measures unnecessarily again.

    To help the smaller teams, only the best 2 * [number of races] results should count for the constructors’ championship. So, in case of a 16 races season, only the best 32 results should count. In case a team would have three cars and get (3 * 16 =) 48 results, worst 16 results wouldn’t count.

    • matt90 said on 24th February 2010, 19:08

      That wouldn’t necessarily stop the best teams from running 3rd cars for the whole season, making it difficult for other teams to even score 1 point.

  3. I voted for one or two cars but only new teams would be allowed to enter one car for their first season.

    I would only like to see three car teams in F1 if the sport lost a few teams and it was the only way to have 20 cars on the grid.

    I think F1 teams should enter two cars, although if they still took the spare car to races I would have reserve drivers use the third car during Friday free practice or perhaps even have a reserve driver sprint race.

    I am in favour of granting new teams some concessions until they are established, such as only running one car or perhaps even letting them use a year old customer car for their maiden season, and also allowing them to miss the first part of the season without penalty to give them more time to be ready as long as it was arranged well beforehand and once they do start racing they would face the same penalty as any other team if they miss a race.

    But I think that after their first season or so they should be treated like every team and have to run two cars which they designed and built themselves.

    • That is a great idea. With the testing ban & the third drivers no longer being allowed to practice on fridays, why doesn’t the FIA allow them to have a race of their own as a support category?

      As it is, they are required to attend every GP & largely just sit there twiddling their thumbs. This way, they’d have a chance to test the car set up a little, and have a race so they are not race rusty if they are ever called up to the main game. And it would give the teams a chance to evaluate the up & comers, for when they are considering their next driver line ups.

  4. Aleksandar Serbia said on 24th February 2010, 13:40

    Ferrari wants three cars so they can fill the podium, they are greedy, and that Montezemolo crap about being generous to Michael, by giving him the third car is another way of pushing for more TV coverage.
    If Fia would to let them go their way on this one its not F1 anymore, its Ferrari 1 !

    • Bertie said on 24th February 2010, 13:48

      I think if Ferrari really want 3 cars they should do what red bull have done and start a new separate team call it Masserati and then go from there.

    • no i think you’re wrong on that point.

      ferrari think 3 car teams are better, so the 3rd car can be leased to a new ‘team’

      the 3rd car will have its own branding, sponsors and name, but rather than them having the same hurdles that campos, lotus, usf1 etc are having now – they wont have to CFD, wind tunnel, develop a tub and chassis, aero packages, engine and gearbox installs and tuning etc etc etc etc…

      if usf1 could lease a car ready to run from ferrari with the full support of ferrari next door it would be a lot simpler and and cost effective, not only for the smaller team, but also for ferrari the larger team. it would make BOTH businesses more sustainable, rather than having to employ 200 more people, buildings, etc etc etc….

      we’re not talking only ferrari doing this, but the top teams who have the facilities, or any team with the facilities & resources for that matter.

      it’s VERY expensive to design, test, build and maintain 2 cars, new teams can come in with a lease of 1, once they are establish and build the sponsor revenue they could look into branching off, but this would at least allow a smaller funded person to come in and setup a small single car team leveraging a bigger team’s resources.

      how that isn’t a more cost effective and efficient way of keeping cars on the grid i don’t know.

      I can understand a manufacturer (toyota, bmw, etc) not wanting to go the lease route, but there’s people out there who have other motivations for being in f1, like usf1, campos and stefan gp.

      • So this is Ferrari being generous? I think not.

        What makes you think a “team” could enter with one car, even if it is leased?

        If the situation with the Ferrari teams motive is as you suggest, then we would still be talking about customer cars, and that has already proved unaccented by the Prodrive-Mclaren effort.

        Last thing, how cheap do you expect Ferrari to lease one of its cars?
        A Ferrari due to its development cost, could not, and would not, be cheap, Ferrari would not sell themselves short.
        Lease also suggests that Ferrari will update, and provide replacement parts, or else the leased car will be uncompetitive and unreliable, which, due to the advantage that gives Ferrari, makes it unethical.

        Do you think Ferrari would place its car in the hands of an unknown driver? that may destroy it every second race and they would have no control in that respect?

  5. HounslowBusGarage said on 24th February 2010, 13:40

    I voted for the One Or Two Car Team option.
    We’ve all read that some teams have used Number Two car to block a rival while Number One car has been allowed to sprint ahead. With a three car team, that tactic would be just too tempting. And that’s apart from considering whether the third car should be eligible for any Driver or Constructor Championship points.
    I’m sure that a one car team wouldn’t be half the cost of running a two car team, more like 66 -75%, but if it’s a way to allow new entrants access to F1, I’m all for it.

    • Very true, the weaker driver of the three cars would focus on blocking other drivers and it would just be tactics. Each driver would have his own role and purpose. This is already happening with “number 1 & 2″ drivers, 3 cars would just make it too obvious.

      I’m against letting any team have the advantage of having three cars while others have less. The idea of allowing new teams to start off with one car is interesting, but I still think the two car rule is the best option. Teams should have two cars on the grid, so that if one car faces trouble it won’t be the end for them, they can still push with their other car.

      I’m surprised that Ferrari still want three cars, I thought they only wanted it to bring back Schumi lol

  6. GeeMac said on 24th February 2010, 13:52

    One or Two car teams sounds about right. If your a bit short on funds you can enter one car, which would reduce your costs probably by about a third (assuming all that would come down would be the costs of paying a second driver, the costs of tyres, fuel transportation etc). This would allow a new team to keep its head above water and, most importantly keep new teams on the grid, while trying to get more sponsorship cash.

  7. Scribe said on 24th February 2010, 13:57

    I voted one or two however there are a number of caveats I’d like to add.

    After three seasons you must run two cars. You must be a fully independent company of a team that supplies you if you are buying cars of them. Customer chassis must be a season old, engines can be new.

    Any behavior deemed suspicious or corrupt, ie interfering with a rival of your suppliers race. Will result in fines for both parties and a ban if proven, this must be rigorously policed.

    Also I think it is aceptable for teams to run different liveries. So long as all changes during the season are licenced.

  8. cant see why we have to have 2 cars, why not just 1?
    Make it easier and cheaper for new teams to enter and build up.

    I quite like the idea of a single car entry.
    3 cars would destroy the WCC and WDC as teams like Ferrari would score 3xpoints near on every race.

    Cant see why we cant have 28 cars on the grid either…remember the old days teams/cars would have to qualify for the race never mind where they would line up….

    • Chalky said on 24th February 2010, 17:03

      “cant see why we have to have 2 cars, why not just 1?”
      Not enough pit slots for pit stops. 2 cars share one stop and rival teams would not like sharing a pit box.
      Just look at Monaco.

      • so top (depending on grid spots for that race) 24? gain entry to race.

        Not like it hasn’t been like that in the past.


        @ some tracks single car teams may have to share pit bay…remembering all pit bays are designed for 2 cars…

  9. ajokay said on 24th February 2010, 13:59

    I like the idea that new teams could be allowed to enter 1 car for the first season, if they wish, of course. Nothing stopping them form fielding 2 cars if they feel they are able to.

    In the first year they could keep one driver, or alternate between 2 if they feel they’d like to get 2 rookie drivers up to speed for their second season.

    No more than 2 though, or else you would start to see well funded teams grabbing the best of everything and constantly locking out the front of the grid and the podium.

    However, if Ferrari wanted 3 cars, why not just start up a 2nd team? Run it with a second set of Ferrari designers and mechanics. They could share the engines, and other bits and pieces they are allowed to share, but must design and construct their chassis completely seperately of one another, just like Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

    If they end up locking out the front row, it would be more valid if the 4 cars, although still Ferraris, were designed and run by different people, seperate teams, within the organisation.

    I believe that’s what happens in Le Mans, isn’t it? Peugeot don’t really run 3 cars, they run 2, and a prive team run the 3rd, even though the branding and colours are near enough the same.

  10. S Hughes said on 24th February 2010, 14:01

    I just want the rules to be left alone for a change!

    • You mean, like in a spec series?

      • newnhamlea1 said on 24th February 2010, 21:33

        no, i think he means that he wants no more changes to the rules we have at the moment, this is a view i share, after DD diffusors are gone everybody should quit trying to improve the ‘the show’ and leave the regs alone.

    • David A said on 24th February 2010, 23:53

      Exactly S Hughes, we need the rule makers to stop constantly tinkering!

  11. rampante said on 24th February 2010, 14:06

    It needs an option of selling previous cars to private runners.
    As S Hughes has said can we just leave the rules as that has created the most trouble for teams and finance.

    • “It needs an option of selling previous cars to private runners.”

      We currently have a BMW with a Ferrari engine, so why not. Maybe a year old Ferrari with a Merc engine would take some catching. ;)

  12. I voted for 1 or 2, but I agree with Scribe that there should be a limit to how many races or seasons you can run this way. I say even less, maybe 6 or half of 1 season.

    Another issue with running different amounts of cars is that it can be too confusing . Here in the states, I have always watched Indy and occasionally NASCAR, but one of the reasons I like F1 so much more is that the team layouts are rather simple. 2 cars, every team, period. This layout makes it very easy to pick teams to follow and it is easier to follow them throughout the races and most importantly, throughout the season. If random teams have three cars, some have 2, and the new teams have 1, the WDC would be too muddled.

  13. 2 cars. Three cars would mean a podium could just be dominated by one team and the smaller teams will get squeezed out, one cars for the new teams leaves may give them a break but they could find that they can’t run two cars when the time comes around so fail (better to eliminate them immediately than later on) and more than anything I’m sick of rule changes. There’s been so many rule changes in recent years that it must be a headache for casual fans to understand the sport at times.

  14. 3 cars on race day no, 3 cars on Friday practice YES! By doing so, the economical problems brought by testing limits would be partially solved.

    • Aleksandar Serbia said on 24th February 2010, 14:25

      Not bad, really not bad, plus the people would see more running, great idea!
      Let the test drivers get more experience!
      Thumbs up Xibi ;)

    • DomPrez said on 24th February 2010, 15:06

      interesting, but counter intuative to cost cutting. you essentialy produce a third car for no reason. if u want a rookie to test, throw him in on a friday morning.

  15. Three car teams don’t seem to do ruin Le Mans.

    Far more detrimental to smaller teams is all the money that gets taken out of the sport by the commercial rights holder rather than reinvesting and redistributing it more evenly among the teams.

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