With teams such as Caterham and Marussia struggling, as well as concerns over the likes of Sauber, there has been talk of allowing three car teams in F1. This is not a new idea, with former Ferrari chairman, Luca di Montezemolo being an avid supporter of the idea.
I at first was not keen to see three car teams, but in light of recent events I have reconsidered and believe that they should be allowed, and that in fact teams should be given the freedom to choose how many cars they want to run during a season whether it be three, two, or just one.
It could help smaller teams as they would be able to field just one car which they can concentrate on making competitive before eventually expanding to a two car operation. It could also help in a financial sense as a team would only need to prepare and develop one car, instead of stretching resources and finances trying to prepare two.
While small teams have the option to field one car, you could at the same time allow bigger teams to field three cars which the FIA could rule would be used to develop young talent or guarantee an F1 seat for the previous years GP2 champion.
Some people have stated that if three car teams were allowed, the third car shouldn’t be allowed to score points. I don’t agree with this at all, as I believe all cars competing should be eligible for points, otherwise you create similar situations to the 1989 Portuguese Grand Prix where a car is disqualified (Mansell), which takes out a car competing for points or even a victory (Senna), except the third car would be ‘disqualified’ in the sense they simply are ineligible to score points and would therefore run the risk of hindering cars that are eligible.
Allowing teams to decide how many cars they compete with is nothing new as it used to occur in F1 during the 50’s all the way through to even the 80’s. It also occurs in other motorsports such as endurance racing, for reliability reasons, and in motorbikes where teams either field one bike (LCR Honda in MotoGP during 2011-14) or even three (Honda in MotoGP during the 2011 season).