The F1 paddock contnues to be divided over the idea of team’s running third cars. Although some drivers suggested that an extra entry would open up more opportunities for them, others believe third cars are not a permanent solution to F1’s woes.
Felipe Massa reckons that if there had been three Mercedes cars this season then the title battle would have been decided months ago.
“The idea is to have as many cars on the track, as that is what people want to see,” said the Williams driver. “But if they decide to put a third car on the track we need to understand how the rules will be.
“Just thinking about this year, putting a third car on the track, the championship would have been finished in the middle of the season. You will have had three Mercedes all the time, first, second or third in most of the races. So in the middle of the season the championship is finished.”
Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn believes there were too many consequences from having an extra car.
“I don’t think that is a concept we should be going for because it changes far too much in the sport,” she said. “It might initially sound an interesting concept but how are you really going to use that car and operate that car? You totally distort the show.
“If you have a dominant team, a third car in there, which is not getting points, then what is it doing there? It’s just keeping people away from points. There are so many issues you really have to look at and I don’t think you will ever find agreement on that.”
McLaren’s Jenson Button agrees that third cars could ultimately create less a competitive picture.
“I don’t like the idea of three cars,” he said. “Personally, I’d rather there were more teams on the grid that are competitive.
“There’s a positive that there are more good drivers [with third cars], but if one car is a step above everyone else – like the Mercedes has been this year pretty much every race – and you’ll never get another team on the podium. It hurts the teams that aren’t quickest, so I’m not a big fan of that idea.”