Majority of teams ‘are against three-car entries’

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In the round-up: Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says most teams are against the idea of allowing third entries for junior drivers.

What they say

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff suggested teams should be allowed to run third cars but Steiner doesn’t believe the idea has gained traction:

I think there was no further discussion. It was an idea thrown out there and some people are for it, some are against it, but I think the majority’s still against it.

It’s very difficult to do in a way that the spectator can see what is actually happening instead of just throwing a third car in. So I don’t think at the moment it has gone anywhere.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Did F1 and Liberty Media capitulate to F1’s manufacturers over the MGU-H?

The FIA and LM caved to Ferrari and Mercedes both of whom feel that they have bought and paid for a permanently dominant in F1 and are insisting they must receive a larger return on that expenditure.

There was never any guarantee implied or stated when they chose to put such astronomical amounts of money into building these engines. Now, they think they own the sport, and they are apparently still able to call the shots and dictate the direction of F1. Very disappointed in the FIA and LM for not taking control and managing their own enterprise.
Bridge Wilson (@Gwbridge)

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On this day in F1

  • 25 years ago today Pedro Lamy cut F3000 championship leader Olivier Panis’s advantage to a single point with one race remaining by finishing third at Magny-Cours. Franck Lagorce won ahead of Jean-Christophe Boullion.

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  • 26 comments on “Majority of teams ‘are against three-car entries’”

    1. ON THE COTD. Sorry Bridge, but ditching the MGU-H so soon after forcing the manufacturers to develop it would be a case of the FIA MISmanaging F1 as it usually does.
      ON THE HEADLINE story, I posted a quick suggestion as to how these talented young drivers could be utilised last week but other things were drawing the fans attention so I’ll reiterate and expand to see if there is any interest. I suggested a new series using older cars (initially I suggested the previous year but realise that may compromise FIA testing rules), to keep costs down I suggested 1/2 distance races on a control tyre designed to last a race distance, further I would suggest the series be run in local blocks, ie EU, Americas N and S, Pacific. The series should be totally separate to F1, FTA TV should be encouraged to attract sponsors. Surely there is room for this kind of series, much as in the past there were non-championship races for F1 .

      1. Sorry Bridge, but ditching the MGU-H so soon after forcing the manufacturers to develop it would be a case of the FIA MISmanaging F1 as it usually does.

        Agree, and it’s not just Ferrari and Mercedes, all the current 4 engine manufacturers expressed reservations about changing the engine regulations, but were willing to compromise if there was a serious chance of attracting new manufacturers, but that’s not happening.

        I think Ross Brawn made a comment along the lines of, it’s better to wait a few more years, continue to work on possible regulations that would attract new manufacturers, and that there is no point in change if it’s not going to bring in anyone.

        It would just cost the existing engine suppliers even more money which they will then try to squeeze out of their customer teams, (or form closer technical partnerships and therefore greater political influence)

        This season we’ve finally had 2 different manufacturers vying for the title, Renault are a bit behind, but in a decent chassis (Red Bull) and favourable circumstances still capable of a snatching a win, and Honda finally look like they’ve got their act together. Changing the engine regulations in 2 years could once again allow one engine supplier to steal a march on everyone, and we could be back to a 2014 situation, just as they were all closing up.

      2. I had similar thoughts but the problem really comes down to the fact that even without R&D, the running costs of a modern F1 car with these turbo hybrid engines is astronomical. The F1 engine lease alone for a single car is enough that you could run at least a 2 car IndyCar team (I have seen it pegged at about $7M per full-time IndyCar entry) for a full season and still have several million left over. That does not include actually showing up to the track to race. The old school local championship model died because of the increasing costs of ever more sophisticated cars and it would be unthinkable that enough people would be able to afford to run even an older car in a full competitive campaign.
        A spec series that is nearly F1 would be a better solution but those have either failed (A1GP, Formula V8 3.5) or more or less already exists in the forms of IndyCar, Super Formula, and even F2. The problem in F2’s case is that it is very much an “up or out” world since it does not draw the crowds needed for sustained sponsorship of a career F2 driver and that it is both viewed as and sold as the place where F1 hopefuls duke it out making F2 a lesser series than it could be if it was a goal like IndyCar.

        1. @seanloh, good points, 1 question though, since it seems to be engine suppliers that need a place to showcase their junior talent could they not reduce/afford the engine costs?

          1. @HoHum That only goes so far. My understanding is the full-price F1 engine leases are currently at or near the cost to produce the actual power unit cost. A further reduction constitutes a loss for the supplier which would only be available for their own drivers which would make for a 3-6 car grid in this theoretical new series if you count all the junior drivers with enough points for a Super License that are connected with engine manufacturers. Furthermore if a reduced engine bill were so attractive wouldn’t Ocon and Russel have seats ready for them at Williams or Force India?

        2. Don’t forget, the engines were supposed to be spec-locked at this point, and the costs would come down over the next three years.

          Personally, I’d like to see another engine option– a twin, or perhaps variable-geometry, turbo, with a fuel flow cap (possibly adjusted compared with the hybrids), and have someone do the math to figure out how much extra fuel (if any) the cars should be allowed to load up with to compensate for the lack of the MGU-H.

          I think the MGU-K is too good to get rid of, and it’s a pretty well understood technology at this point.

    2. Single car privateers (maybe limited to 3-4 years) could be a better solution than a third car.

    3. Third cars or extra teams won’t actually make much of a difference after a year or so.

      The only reason the Red Bull young driver concept worked was that they were brutal enough to cut a driver that wasn’t “good enough”

      The problem we have is that there’s too many drivers that aren’t good enough occupying seats and there’s not enough leaving to make room for any new talent.

      Couple that with the fact that these days everyone that wins a F2 or F3 race/series is touted as being “the next world champion” (remember when F1 cars were such brutes that only the very best of the best could handle them) and there will always be too many newcomers and not enough seats.

      Just creating more seats won’t fix this – it’ll just fill the grid with more drivers that are average. The truly talented ones will probably continue to miss out because any new seats will just be filled by another “funded” driver.

      Until the F1 superlicence is regulated so that it can only be earned and retained by the top talent, the issues we’re seeing now will not change.

      As an idea, let’s have an end of season driver academy using (say) the current year’s top two teams, funded by the FIA.
      All drivers below 6th in the WDC and any potential newcomers must attend
      Tyres are the same in all sessions
      Drivers get to rotate through the 4 cars provides to ensure balance
      The top 20 get open Superlicences for the next year. (In addition to the top 6 from the current year’s WDC points)
      The next 8 get “provisional” ones that allow them to test & be reserve drivers.
      The rest… better luck next year.

      That’ll clear out the problem and imagine the “reality show” Liberty could make from it as young xxxxx from the backwoods of some US state tries out for a shot at the big time.

      1. Oh for an edit button “using cars from the top 2 teams, funded by the FIA/Liberty”

        Well you get the idea..

        1. @dbradock: Not a bad idea at all. Unless you’re a self-absorbed billionaire with a son nagging you to spent a $100M on his own vanity project.

    4. Gotta love when an individual speaks for the majority. Reminds me of the Halo, who really knows until you put it to a vote.

      Re CotD: https://www.motorlat.com/notas/f1/5327/spanish-gp-fridays-team-principals-press-conference
      This was after the MGU-H was announced to be discluded, three of the four manufacturers publicly expressed favouring the MGU-H except Ferrari who were indifferent. To say that Ferrari and Mercedes are holding the sport hostage over its inclusion is wildly misinformed.

      Ultimately the regulations haven’t even been finalised even now. If new manufacturer entrants were truly hinging solely on the inclusion of the MGU-H, then they obviously didn’t make that fact clear enough. But with the state F1 is in at the moment, there are obviously far more issues than the inclusion of a single technology which need to be addressed before new manufacturers would consider an entry.

    5. The rallycross track will utilise part of the legendary Formula 1 circuit

      Legendary F1 Circuit in Abu Dhabi? Must have been before my time. Was it a legendary track in the 70s or 80s before Bernie and Hermann made vast runoffs great again?

      1. fixed it.

        “The rallycross track will utilise part of the widely disliked Formula 1 circuit, integrated into a challenging new purpose-built layout.”

      2. @jimmi-cynic That was my first reaction. Then I realised that they didn’t say why it’s legendary, and reread it as “legendarily bad” X-)

    6. With 3 car teams, Hammy would have 2 rear gunners.

      He’d be unstoppable!

      1. As would Sebby! Or Maxxy!

      2. I think you have now officially reached ‘Troll Status’… Well done… Jolly, jolly good.

        1. I don’t see any trolling, the man makes a good point.

          Please look up the meaning of trolling, as you are using it wrong.

          1. So… let’s analyse what you’re saying here…
            “The man makes a good point”… Why…? Apparently just because you agree with him…
            So, using your logic, does that make you a troll as well…
            Or are you another incarnation of ‘Master Anon’…? :)
            As for the definition of ‘troll’, I did as you requested… My dictionary gives:
            “a person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online post” NB: note the ‘OR’…

    7. Vettel traditionally hasn’t had doormat teammates. Remember Mark Webber. The guy raced Vettel harder than he did Alonso. No team orders to benefit Vettel in Malaysia 2013.

      Vettel beats his teammates fair and square.

      1. Ah yes, and remember how Rosberg, Alonso and Button were such doormats while they were Hamilton’s team mates. Sad as it is, the reason Bottas is now the wingman is because Hamilton has beaten him fair and square over the rest of the season. Just like Vettel has with Raikkonen

      2. You only need team orders when your teammate is ahead.

      3. I don’t think any of the top tier drivers want doormat teammates, as competition drives progression. The mindset of a top athlete is you are the best, so you want to prove that at every opportunity.

        That said Kimi’s statistics from his return to Ferrari have been woeful, 5 years driving a Ferrari and not one win is not top class teammate competition, it’s going to be interesting next year.

    8. Corinthians shirt sales are going to go through the roof methinks…

    9. ”But they need to give me a Formula One drive already.” – LOL.

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