Mercedes boss Toto Wolff doesn't believe that his calls for three-car teams will win support with other manufacturers in Formula 1. The Austrian brought up the idea following the likelihood that Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon will be without a race seat in 2019.
Ocon currently races for Force India but is set to lose his seat to Lance Stroll, whose father now owns the team. The Frenchman had two offers on the table before the summer break, but Wolff says that the team's didn't "have the balls" to complete the deal.
"I like the idea because I felt the more cars we had in the field, the more opportunity we give to young, exciting drivers to fight in a competitive car against experienced drivers, it would create great stories,” he said. “Maybe be an easier access for talent.”
Mercedes announced that it will part ways with Pascal Wehrlein at the end of the season as they can't find him a competitive drive for 2019. But Wolff says that having a third car would allow teams to run junior drivers and give them an opportunity.
“[Some] teams [are] saying that would mean three Mercedes and three Ferraris and three Red Bulls and I respect that if I was involved in a smaller team, that would be an argument.
“And then the costs need to be looked at, whether it is commercially viable to run a third car and have young drivers in there. But for me personally, I would really enjoying having a third Mercedes and put Pascal in there, or George or Esteban, and see what they would be able to do.”
But Wolff says that other team bosses won't be interested: “I’m not the flavour of the month in Formula One at the moment,” he said. “The ideas I bring up somehow end up in the bin, so maybe it’s better not saying anything and then someone else brings it up as the next great idea.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing