What would three car teams do for Formula One?

Personally, I think they'd do a lot of good.

The idea of having each team run three cars in Formula 1 has recently been resurfaced by Bernie Ecclestone, and has been generally met with a whole heap of negativity throughout the paddock and social media. However, I believe the concept can actually make the sport much better and make the competition even more intense.

Firstly, I should point out that this isn’t another of those wacky ideas that Bernie seems to randomly spurt out when he feels that F1 needs a revamp, much like the suggestion of medals instead of points. It actually states in the regulations that if the Formula 1 field were to drop to eight teams, each team must run a third car. So before we go thinking Bernie has gone crazy, this is a genuine backup plan to help keep the numbers up.

Three-car teams could be a reality in 2015

It must also be mentioned that this scenario have a real chance of becoming a reality. Reportedly, Caterham could be on the verge of collapsing, Sauber are known to be struggling financially, and also Marussia and Lotus could soon face the chop.

While the loss of these teams would be a huge disappointment to their respective fan bases, for the sport as a whole I see the enforcement of this regulation being a huge improvement.

The F1 hierarchy

At the moment we seem to have a three-tier hierarchy in Formula 1. In the top tier we have the top teams, such as Mercedes and Red Bull. Next we have the midfield tier of teams like Force India and Toro Rosso, and finally the bottom tier consisting of Marussia, Sauber and Caterham.

If we were to have only the top eight teams competing in Formula 1, each with three drivers, the spread throughout the field would be considerably less than what we currently have, meaning a more competitive and closely-fought championship.

Curve the stranglehold pay-drivers have on the sport

Another argument in favour of three car teams, which I think needs some serious consideration when looking at this subject, addresses at the ongoing kerfuffle that is the pay-driver. Imagine if the eight richest teams competed in Formula 1, all of which have no need to hire pay-drivers to merely stay in the sport, employed drivers based on their talent. That’s a championship of 24 drivers who genuinely deserve to be in the top echelon of motorsport, not the possibly 10 drivers who deserve to be there and the other 14 with the biggest pockets.

The loss of the underdog

On the other hand, the only reason I can see to not go with three car teams is the sentimental value associated with the bottom teams. Everyone likes to see an underdog do well, so if we were to lose underdog teams that appeal to the sport would be somewhat lost. For me the perfect example team for this is Sauber. For me personally, they’ve always been one of those teams where I have been genuinely happy when they achieve a podium. The win they achieved with Robert Kubica while under the BMW guise remains to this day one of my favourite wins for any driver.

However, for the aforementioned reasons, I think losing teams like Sauber and Caterham is a sacrifice the sport must accept if the quality of racing is to improve.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Robert Kubica , Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Mercedes , Sauber , Force India , Toro Rosso
Article type Analysis