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Drivers back three-car teams as opportunity for racers to shine

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Drivers back three-car teams as opportunity for racers to shine
Oct 31, 2014, 11:18 AM

A number of Formula One’s leading drivers have come out in support of three-car teams, saying that the possible solution to the collapse of Cater...

A number of Formula One’s leading drivers have come out in support of three-car teams, saying that the possible solution to the collapse of Caterham and Marussia would provide drivers with more opportunities to show their skills.

With the two back-marking teams missing this weekend’s United States Grand Prix and next week’s race in Brazil, the idea of front running teams supplying back markers with cars to make up grid numbers or fielding their own third cars has been mooted.

And it seems that, on reflection, F1’s drivers are broadly in favour of the plan.

“I think it will definitely help the opportunities of the drivers,” said Force India’s Sergio Perez. “Obviously there will be a bit more of a chance. Formula One is really limited – the spaces where you can go and where you can actually win during a year – so it can create a bit more opportunity to the drivers.”

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The Mexican’s sentiments were echoed by championship leader Lewis Hamilton who said that in the case of major teams running a third car, the chance to race a competitive car alongside front-running team-mates would be invaluable to young drivers.

“If it’s a position for a younger driver, it could be quite good. Especially bringing then on, giving them the best experience and especially putting them alongside top drivers who have the experience,” he said. “Perhaps they will come along a lot more than they ever have in the past.”

Hamilton added that such a move might also help keep employees of the two failed teams in employment.

“When I think about the two teams that have dropped out, my biggest concern really is just for all the employees in those teams that have to provide for their families that perhaps don’t have a job now. If we do do this perhaps they still have space in other teams,” he said.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo added that he sees no problem with teams expanding their driver roster, saying that racing against multiple team-mates had always been the case in the lower formulae.

“I think from our position it’s something, if we’re requested to have a third car, I think we’ll definitely look into it and try to make it happen,” he said. “From my side, let’s say, having another team-mate, I wouldn’t see any negatives. I remember 2008; I think I had six team-mates in Formula Renault, so it was like being in a school classroom. I wouldn’t see any downside from a driver’s point of view.”

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Lotus’ Romain Grosjean also backed the plan: “If you put it on a good team and you’re racing in the same cars as what we call ‘the superstars’, then it gives you an opportunity to show how strong you are and then [you] get called one of those superstars.

“I think whoever is doing a good job as a driver, bringing them to the good team, like Daniel, showing that he’s capable of winning races. A third car would certainly help some of us to have a good reputation.”
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