Mercedes protégé Russell sees F1 short of two teams


Mercedes protégé George Russell believes Formula 1 would ideally require two additional teams to make up the numbers and offer more opportunities for young drivers.

Russell, the current leader of the FIA Formula 2 championship, is targeting an F1 drive for 2019, but a scarcity of available seats has complicated his situation.

Just like Force India's Esteban Ocon, who could be facing a season on the sidelines, Russell's efforts are supported by Mercedes. A relationship that has limited both driver's opportunities for next season.

In Russel's view, the sport needs at least two more teams to boost its ranks and open more possibilities for those knocking on F1's door or who aim to remain in Grand Prix racing.

"I feel like Formula 1 is currently lacking at least two teams," Russell told

"We only have 20 cars on the grid, as a young driver trying to break into that 20 is extremely difficult."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff recently suggested that teams be allowed to enter a third car in the future, an idea that many find interesting although the practicality of such a concept has been called into question.

Russell however believes Wolff's idea has merit.

"I think the idea of a third car, or something along those lines, is a very good idea," said the 20-year-old.

"You sometimes see the pay drivers getting into Formula 1, and potentially they could come in for their home race: an Asian driver comes in for the Asian races, the American drivers come in for the American races and so on.

"It gives the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull the chance to throw their young drivers in without any major issues."


A major stumbling block facing the idea is cost, with F1's front-running outfits likely the only teams that could afford to participate in a third-car scheme.

But even on limited basis, Russell believes the idea would still be worth it, for young drivers and for F1 in general.

"Formula 1 is an extremely expensive sport because of the development, not because of the actual cost of building the front wings or whatever," added the young Brit.

"The money is spent in the windtunnels, on the designers’ salaries, the time and effort to design the cars.

"To make three wings instead of two is not going to be a huge additional cost. [Or] a third chassis compared to two.

"Obviously it’s an increased cost, but it’s not much for the spectacle it could give Formula 1."

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