Wolff wants F1 Strategy Group to discuss third cars

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has reiterated his support for third cars to give junior drivers an opportunity to race, has suggested that the subject will be discussed at next week’s Strategy Group meeting.

Wolff wants F1 Strategy Group to discuss third cars

Wolff has been struggling to find 2019 F1 seats for Esteban Ocon and George Russell, and has agreed to release Pascal Wehrlein, allowing the German to pursue a potential opportunity with Toro Rosso as a free agent.

He has previously said he sees third cars as the ideal solution for the problem, and although it’s understood that the subject is not currently on the agenda, Wolff said he expects it to be debated by the Strategy Group.

However, he acknowledged that, tabled as a Mercedes idea, it might not get much support.

“I like the idea [of third cars] because the more cars we have in the field, and the more opportunity we give to young exciting drivers to fight in a competitive car against experienced drivers, it would create great stories,” said Wolff. “And maybe be an easier access for talent.

“But we’ve had quite some push back for the idea, for reasons that I respect. Teams saying that would mean there are three Mercedes and three Ferraris and three Red Bulls, and I respect that, if I would be involved in a smaller team, that would be an argument.

“Then the costs need to be looked at, whether it would be commercially viable to run a third car and have young drivers in that.

"Me personally I would just really enjoy it, have a third Mercedes and put Pascal in there or George or Esteban, and just see what they are able to do. But I’m not the one taking the decisions here about the regulations.”

He added: “I think we’re going to discuss it next Wednesday again. I’m not the flavour of the month in F1 at the moment, so the ideas I bring up somehow end up in the bin.

"Better I’m not saying anything, then someone else brings it up as the next great idea.”

Asked by Motorsport.com why Mercedes could consider finding a budget for a third car but would not pay the market rate for a seat at a team like Williams, he said: “Because I think that a third car would be very easy to finance, even putting another brand on the car and giving it a completely different livery and a different story.

"It’s easier to market a junior driver that drives in a Mercedes and a Ferrari, that is exciting.”

Wolff said there were different ways of ensuring that third cars didn’t interfere with the world championship.

He said: “You could even let them participate in the sessions and qualifying, but let them do their own race, if teams feel that meddling in the championship is not right, or don’t make them score constructor points, just driver points.

“So there would be many fantastic and exciting ways to integrate them on the grid, but you have to respect that if some teams are not up for it, then it’s difficult to implement it.”

Antonio Giovinazzi, Ferrari SF71H

Antonio Giovinazzi, Ferrari SF71H

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

shares
comments
Vandoorne: Focus now on enjoying final McLaren races
Previous article

Vandoorne: Focus now on enjoying final McLaren races

Next article

Singapore GP: Hamilton wins from Verstappen and Vettel

Singapore GP: Hamilton wins from Verstappen and Vettel
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021