Over the past couple of years, F1 and its teams have been in discussions to improvise opportunities on and off the track with factors like cost cap and sprint races blooming out of it. Now, with the next biggest set of regulation changes due in 2025, suggestions have yet again started to pour in with the latest coming from Toto Wolff.
The Mercedes boss acknowledged that there are abundant talents awaiting an opportunity to race in Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport. Hence, Wolff opined that F1 must let each team race with 3 cars rather than the usual 2.
But, of course, his suggestion spurred massive opposing from other teams’ bosses. Is that shocking though?
Absolutely not! This is because, with 22 races a year, it is practically impossible for an F1 team to compete with 3 cars especially with a cost cap in place. Also, teams will have to rope in another set of crew for the third driver which could lead to more financial disruptions.
What did Toto Wolff say?
The McLaren boss reckoned that more teams would mean less income for the existing teams. And Horner obliged to it as well, saying, “If you cut more pieces out of a cake, everyone gets less.”
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff with Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS
Consequently, Wolff offered a solution to this financial complication. “We could use a third car and put in a binding rookie. All of a sudden you have a starting grid with 30 vehicles,” the Austrian said.
Williams boss displeased with Wolff’s demand
Although 3 drivers per team could be an eye-opening opportunity for rookies, Capito felt that this particular logic hardly plays well with the teams’ financial stability.
“You can’t increase to 30 cars now, that works relatively poorly,” he said. “Upgrading a team from two to three cars is also incredibly difficult, that’s 50 percent more. I don’t know how to do that with 22 or 23 races a year.”
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – April 30, 2021 McLaren Chief Executive Officer Zak Brown talks in the Team Principals Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS
Soon, Brown raised the issue of “increased costs for the teams“, but Wolff immediately interrupted with yet another solution to Brown’s concerns too.
“Smaller teams can have these cockpits financed with money from the driver or sponsors. That could be interesting,” he said, encouraging more pay drivers to join the sport.
Overall, discussions are still going strong, and F1 are far from arriving at a conclusion despite the fact that they hardly have months left in their pocket. So, can F1 find a way to bring all 10 teams to a consensus before the deadline arrives?
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