Schmidt's F1 blog: Third car is a stupid idea

Michael Schmidt's Formula 1 blog
Subscriptions & booklets

A meets on Thursday (November 3rd) in Geneva the Formula 1 Commission. They talk about the future of Formula 1 and how it can be made even better. Ferrari means with a third car. Red Bull favors the use of customer vehicles. Some criticize that Force India, Virgin and Toro Rosso are already there because too much outside help is flowing in.

I know: The third car is my hot topic. Because it is the stupidest idea that unfortunately it is difficult to banish from the minds of some Formula 1 makers. Before we go into detail about Ferrari's ill-conceived plan, it is important to grasp your head. We are currently experiencing a Formula 1 season with exciting races, and Formula 1 is crying out for change. Those involved have a talent for speaking badly about a sport that is good for no reason.

You could now say that Sebastian Vettel became world champion far too early and the last races of the World Cup lack the spice . But wasn't that the case with Michael Schumacher in 2001, 2002 and 2004? And did Ferrari complain at the time? The Vettel march would have happened with a third car per team. If Kimi Räikkönen or Daniel Ricciardo had driven a third Red Bull, there would have been even less to get for the rest.

Small teams with no chance of promotion

Ferrari and Red Bull denounce it big gap between the newcomers Lotus, Virgin and Hispania, which after two years of service still fluctuates between four and six seconds. The problem lies in the system. In the fat years, Formula 1 created a monster that doesn't give a new team a chance, unless it's a manufacturer who throws 300 million into battle every year. And even then, success is not guaranteed. See Toyota.

Instead of looking for bad solutions, the big teams should analyze why a new addition automatically has no chance. Because you don't learn anything for Formula 1 in the small classes. Because building a reasonably competitive car today requires so many skilled personnel, so many resources and so much know-how that as a newcomer you are simply overwhelmed. And because you still spend money unchecked, despite all cost reduction plans. Max Mosley had promised the new a budget limit of 60 million euros. It just never came.

Ferrari and RedBull don't advertise their model because they care about the future of Formula 1. They just want to use all the money they have in the till and the many people who are still on the payroll somehow. A third car or Red Bull's customer car is a great way to hide people, tools and millions and still use them for your own cause. To the detriment of those who do not live in abundance.

Even more monotony at the top

Let's assume that each team would have been allowed a third car this year. Or the five top teams would have provided customer cars for the five hungry people. What would have happened? Virgin and Hispania would have disappeared because there is no space for more than 30 cars in a Formula 1 field. Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari would have mostly worked out the first nine places.

In case no one has noticed: The cars almost always finish. In the 17 races this season, Red Bull failed to cross the distance only once, McLaren and Ferrari only four times. As a rule, Mercedes would only have one World Championship point left. With such a disgrace, would Mercedes boss Zetsche have given his placet for the Formula 1 adventure? Hardly.

And what would Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo have said about places seven, eight and nine that his red cars would have won this year. According to his model, the Ferrari B-Team is at the start with the same car as the A-Team. That will be as good or as bad. Even if a racing team like Penske uses this third Ferrari. Nobody can guarantee Mr. Montezemolo that Ferrari will build the best or the second best car in 2012. If he's unlucky, he'll be overtaken by Mercedes.

Small teams would die away

One thing must be clear to everyone: the more cars you bring to the start the greater the suffering when you follow. And that starts from fourth place. At the back of the field, the Sauber, Toro Rosso, Force India and Williams would die because they couldn't even present their sponsors with points. At the other end, there would be no new teams because they can work out that they feel the same way.

Not even a manufacturer would take this risk. Apart from the fact that Audi cannot have the Mercedes car and Hyundai the McLaren car built. But anyone who is halfway able to add one and one together knows that as a newcomer you have to eat hard bread for the first few years. Possibly without a championship point in the total bill.

Even the customer car model does not lead to anything. Because the B-Team always has to drive for the A-Team in an emergency. Because the B-Team will always give the A-Team its political vote. Because the circus will then produce even more puppets than it already hasalready running through the paddock.

DTM conditions in Formula 1?

The ultimate consequence of the team death is that the remaining ones have to use more and more cars and that in the end comes to a situation like in the DTM. Do we want that? I do not think so. IndyCar is a cautionary example. There was once again a diversity in the chassis area. March, Lola, Reynard, Swift, Truesports, Galmer, Penske. There were fewer and fewer, because when it comes to customer cars, everyone ultimately buys the chassis that promises the most success.

It is part of the Formula 1 culture that everyone builds their own cars on a large scale. If the gearbox or the hydraulics are bought in, you can live with them. These are components that do not generate any emotions in the audience. When Force India, Virgin and Hispania use foreign wind tunnels and simulators, nobody cares. Ferrari and McLaren have also already switched to the Toyota wind tunnel.

Costs have to go further down

There is only one solution to bring the field closer together and thus become closer sometimes new teams dare to enter the premier class. The costs have to go down further. The use of tools must be further curtailed. The rules must remain stable. The monoculture has to stop in the smaller formulas. Only those who learn there to build large parts of their own car can get fit for Formula 1. The FIA ​​could wonderfully try using a budget limit in these categories to show the Formula 1 teams that it can be done.


Leave a reply

Name *