Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
FP1 in
27 days
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
50 days
09 May
Next event in
67 days
23 May
Race in
85 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
99 days
13 Jun
Race in
106 days
27 Jun
Race in
120 days
04 Jul
Next event in
123 days
18 Jul
Race in
141 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
155 days
29 Aug
Race in
183 days
05 Sep
Race in
190 days
12 Sep
Race in
197 days
26 Sep
Race in
211 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
214 days
10 Oct
Race in
224 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
239 days
31 Oct
Race in
246 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
266 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
281 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
288 days

Mercedes floats third car idea to help young drivers

Allowing Formula 1 teams to be able to run a third car for young drivers would be the best way to overcome the problems of getting new talent in the sport, says Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

shares
comments
Mercedes floats third car idea to help young drivers

Amid some frustrations about the lack of opportunities he has available for his junior drivers Esteban Ocon, George Russell and Pascal Wehrlein, Wolff has floated the idea of a radical shake-up of the rules.

Rather than limiting teams to two cars as things stand currently, Wolff thinks that opening up the possibility for a third car – which had to be driven by a youngster – would be a good thing for the sport.

“I have a simple solution,” said Wolff, whose annoyance at the young driver situation has led him to question the future of Mercedes’ junior programme. 

“Give us a third car. Make it mandatory to put a young driver with maximum two years [of experience] in that car.

“The costs wouldn’t be huge. The grid would be packed and we would have fantastic shows of new kids on the block coming up and fighting hard with the Valtteris and Lewis of this world, and surprising us.”

Although Red Bull has opted to run a second team to help school its young drivers in F1, with Toro Rosso having brought through Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, such a step for Mercedes has been ruled out by Wolff.

“Owning another team just to find a place for your young drivers doesn’t make sense for us,” said Wolff. “And I think the big teams are not going to take risks with young drivers.

“Now you can say that is boring. I think it is boring. I think we should take risks, we should put 18 or 19-year-old top talents in a top car and give them a chance.

“But the problem is that if you lose a drivers’ championship or a constructors’ championship because they are on a learning curve, that is obviously not great.

“We have not done it and Ferrari have not done it in the past. So we need to question it.”

Ocon sceptical about third car idea

Ocon backed the idea of teams running a third car, but is sceptical that it could be achieved.

"If that could be the case that would be fantastic for sure," he said. "But I don’t see that happening, to be honest. I would like it to happen for sure.

"It would create opportunities for young drivers like me or like Charles [Leclerc] or like George, you know. A great opportunity and that would be great.

"But it’s always been two cars in Formula 1 and the costs they would bring for teams in difficulty, I think it could be tough. I don’t want to dream too much about that and I try to think about the actual rules."

Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India VJM11

Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India VJM11

Photo by: Manuel Goria / Sutton Images

Steiner hits back at Alonso after Haas dig

Previous article

Steiner hits back at Alonso after Haas dig

Next article

McLaren: Red Bull's demands for Key too much

McLaren: Red Bull's demands for Key too much
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact Prime

How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact

The deal McLaren concluded with MSP Sports Capital last year which will help the cash-strapped Formula 1 team pay for much-needed infrastructure upgrades, also points toward the future for F1 itself, says GP Racing's Stuart Codling.

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game Prime

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

Formula 1
Feb 26, 2021
The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021
What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch Prime

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

Red Bull made no secret of the fact its 2021 F1 car is an evolution of its predecessor, but in keeping the same foundations while hiding some tightly-guarded updates with its RB16B, the team aims to avoid suffering the same pitfalls of previous years

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo Prime

How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo

Alex Albon has faced the media for the first time since he lost his Red Bull drive at the end of 2020 and dropped out of a Formula 1 race seat altogether. He has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, so here's what he must do to rise again

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans Prime

Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans

Alfa Romeo launched its C41 with a revised front nose, but there's little to suggest it will surge up the leaderboard in 2021. As the team frankly admits, it's putting its eggs in the basket labelled 2022 and hoping to hold the eighth place it earned last year

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse Prime

Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse

Red Bull opted not to re-sign Pierre Gasly even before it decided to drop Alex Albon and so the Frenchman's Formula 1 journey will continue at AlphaTauri. This has positive and negative connotations for one of last season's star performers.

Formula 1
Feb 20, 2021