F1 is considering three-car teams for 2015, Ecclestone confirms
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone (left) speaks with Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner (right) in the paddock during previews ahead of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit on Sept. 18, 2014.
Bernie Ecclestone has admitted F1 could fill up a depleted grid next year by having the top teams field three cars.
Former Williams chairman Adam Parr set off alarm bells after the Italian Grand Prix recently when he tweeted that three struggling teams are about to collapse.
When asked about the news in Singapore, and whether allowing small teams to buy customer cars from their big rivals might be the answer, F1 supremo Ecclestone answered: "No. Three cars (would be the solution)."
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Grave fears about the health and future of Caterham, Marussia, Sauber and Lotus are sweeping the paddock.
Asked directly if the Swiss team will definitely return in 2015, Sauber chief Monisha Kaltenborn said in Singapore: "We plan to be."
And if others also collapse under similar financial strain, Ecclestone said the plan is to boost low grid numbers by having top teams like Ferrari and Mercedes run a third car each.
"I think we should do it anyway," he said.
"I would rather see Ferrari with three cars or any of the other top teams with three cars than having teams that are struggling."
Ecclestone, 83, admitted that several teams are in danger of collapsing.
"We’ll know after the next two or three races, but it (the three car plan) is being looked at," he said.
"I’ve been around – most people would say too long – but long enough to know there are always people at the back of the grid," said Ecclestone.
McLaren driver Jenson Button said it would be a shame if numbers had to be boosted with three-car teams.
"If one car is so strong next year, you could have no other cars on the podium, which isn’t so good," said Button.
"Obviously it would be nice if they (the small teams) didn’t have such big struggles and they could be more competitive," Button added. "But that’s always been the case in Formula One."