Red Bull F1 boss denies that third-car plan is already in play

Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner (right) looks on in the garage before the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on Oct. 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

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Red Bull’s F1 boss Christian Horner denies that any progress has been made on the plan for some of the big players to run third cars in the 2015 World Championship, despite the smaller teams suspecting that discussions have progressed on the subject.

In theory Bernie Ecclestone has the right to request RBR, Ferrari and McLaren to field extra entries should the grid fall below 18.

Lotus, Sauber and Force India are vehemently opposed to any change to the current system, and all three suspect that moves are already in hand to make changes that put a focus on the top five teams.

“Not at all,” said Horner when ask if there was an agenda. “Certainly Red Bull’s position is that we want to see a full grid of two car teams. We have an obligation, as do a couple of other teams, that if the numbers drop below a certain number, then we will be required by the promoter to field a third car. The numbers haven’t dropped significantly low enough, and we haven’t been requested by the promoter to run a third car. Our preference is that we have at least 10 healthy competing two-car teams.

“I think the third car is only a scenario if the numbers drop, and at the moment it’s not something that we’re planning, it’s not something that we are pushing for. If we were requested to do it, then obviously we would have to look at it at that point.

“Personally I’m not a big fan of three-car teams. I think it’s moving away from what F1 should be. But of there’s no option, no alternative, then Red Bull would have a commitment that yes, we would have to field a third car.”

Regarding the extra cost he said: “If there was a third car that was requested to be run, we couldn’t do it within our existing budget. You’re looking at €35-40M ($43.5-$49.7M).”