Formula 2 hotshot George Russell has given a thumbs up to the concept of a third car, believing that a 20 car Formula 1 grid is simply not enough for the supply of talent knocking on the door of Formula 1.
Mercedes backed Russell is on course for the 2018 Formula 2 title, he has a 22 points lead over Lando Norris with four rounds remaining.
Ironically Norris is already confirmed to race for McLaren in Formula 1 next year, but Russell faces an uncertain future because if he wins the title he cannot race again in F2. Logically a Formula 1 drive would beckon, but a shortage of seats in the top flight could render him to the sidelines.
Speaking to MN, Russell said, “I feel like Formula 1 is currently lacking at least two teams. We only have 20 cars on the grid, as a young driver trying to break into that 20 is extremely difficult. I think the idea of a third car, or something along those lines, is a very good idea.”
“You sometimes see the pay drivers getting into Formula 1, and potentially they could come in for their home race: an Asian driver comes in for the Asian races, the American drivers come in for the American races and so on.”
“It gives the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull the chance to throw their young drivers in without any major issues.”
Rival teams see this as a Toto Wolff led ploy, the Mercedes boss looking for a solution to his young driver crisis. They also have Esteban Ocon without a drive, in a strange case of 2 into 0 does not go.
Lobbying for a third car, Russell reasoned, “Formula 1 is an extremely expensive sport because of the development, not because of the actual cost of the building the front wings or whatever,” he said.
“The money is spent in the windtunnels, on the designers’ salaries, the time and effort to design the cars. To make three wings instead of two is not going to be a huge additional cost. [Or] a third chassis compared to two.”
“Obviously it’s an increased cost, but it’s not much for the spectacle it could give Formula 1,” added Russell.