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Three car teams the way forward for F1?

For quite a few years Ferrari have been one of the most outspoken teams in Formula One.

Their important standing in the sport probably allows them to try and flex their muscles more often than the other teams in F1.

Ferrari continues to link Formula One to its past, an important aspect for a sport that is continually looking towards the future and forever evolving.

But while Ferrari has been an important aspect of F1's past, it is also important to the present and to the future. Which is why when Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo speaks on the future of the sport, everyone listens.

On we have already discussed one area of his recent speech at Ferrari's World Finals event at Mugello last weekend. That article concentrated on whether Ferrari would ever consider leaving F1 following di Montezemolo's apparent threat to the sport.

This time we move forward to the debate over whether teams should be able to race with three cars.

'there's the issue of the third car, which mark my words, we support not so much for our own interests but more for those of the sport in general. We believe the interest of the fans, media and sponsors could increase if there is a bigger number of competitive cars on track rather than cars that are two or three seconds off the pace, being lapped after just a few laps.' di Montezemolo said.

Ferrari of course also know the benefits for themselves if this happened, but is their arguement that the racing would be a lot more competitive if the top teams ran three car teams valid?

This season for example three teams have won races this season, with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and both McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton standing on the top step of the podium during the course of the 2011 Formula One World Championship.

Those three teams have dominated the top six places at most races. If those three teams could run a third car, the top nine on the grid would be a lot more competitive than it is now, with the likes of Mercedes, Renault and Force India currently picking up points on a regular basis.

So which brings more interest? More competition from teams, or more competition from more competitive cars?

McLaren boss and chairman of the Formula One Teams Association Martin Whitmarsh speaking on the subject during a McLaren Mercedes phone-in admitted that 'if necessary' McLaren would be interested in running a three car team.

However the McLaren boss also stated that he believes it would be wrong for the sport: 'I think we shouldn't underestimate how hard it is for the smaller teams. It's fine for perhaps some of the bigger teams who feel quite confident about their future, but the fact is we need 10 or 12 teams in the sport to race against.

'Personally I think that going to generate grid size with three-car teams, I understand why some people are attracted to that. If it was necessary, it has some interest for McLaren.

'But for Formula 1, it's the wrong solution. Formula 1 requires the diversity of entry, and I think we therefore have to work hard to ensure that to achieve all of that there are sustainable business models for all the teams that are in Formula 1.'

One major point of interest in this would be the consistency in F1 in the future.

If the grid dropped from 12 teams to 8 to field 24 cars, what happens when one of those teams eventually withdraw from the sport?

Formula One manufacturers often come and go from the paddock, recently we have seen the likes of Toyota and Honda withdraw from F1 at quite short notice, if F1 dropped to 8 teams and that occured again, what would happen next?

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 10 2011

Time: 1:00PM

Your Comments

I'd not be against 3 cars, anyone else?
The Fear
but when would 3 then become 4 and the smaller teams lost due to insufficient budgets to run more than 2 competitive cars?
That was what I was hinting at towards the end of the article Merlin. The Manufacturers do not have any need to look after the sport they look after themselves, they come and go from F1 on a regular basis, if F1 dropped the number of teams and then a couple of teams withdrew we'd be looking at 4 cars each to make up the numbers and it would quickly become a farce.

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