JUST A MATTER OF TIME: F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and Ferrari want three-car teams, but McLaren says 2015 is just too soon. Image: AFP
LONDON, England - Formula 1 teams will need six months' notice to add a third car so any decision now is too late already for the start of the 2015 season.Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.
That's the view of McLaren racing director Eric Boullier who on Thursday (Sept 25) was responding to a suggestion by the sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone that teams should be allowed to run three cars, no matter the number already on the grid.
Regulations currently restrict teams to two cars.
"I think the driver is the easiest to get on board," Boullier told reporters. "The chassis and third-car logistics and people - we would need at least six months' notice."
Ecclestone said at the September 21 2014 Singapore F1 GP that he would like to see teams allowed to run more cars, a measure suggested in the past to ensure a full grid in case smaller outfits fold.
Indeed, several teams do have financial problems, meaning regular speculation about their ability to survive to 2015 - though all say they will make it.
Ecclestone continued: "It's always been on the cards that if we lose three teams then the other teams will run three cars. We should do it anyway. I would rather see Ferrari with three cars , or any of the other top teams with three cars, than having teams that are struggling."
His comments triggered a debate about the likely costs involved and whether it was the right direction for the sport to take.
'EVERYBODY SIGNED UP'
Force India owner Vijay Mallya told reporters at Singapore: "The regulations and the agreements do provide that, if the grid is less than 20 cars, then participating teams will race a third car,"
"That's something everybody signed up to as well. I hope it never comes to that. I think the DNA of Formula 1should be preserved."
Claire Williams, vice-principal of former champion team Williams, agreed: "I think we want to have a healthy grid of 10 teams each fielding two cars. Not four teams fielding three cars. For Williams, that's not the DNA of our sport."