George Russell Feels Formula 1 Is Lacking ‘At Least Two Teams’


George Russell - Mercedes - Hungary Test
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

FIA Formula 2 Championship leader George Russell says Formula 1 is currently lacking teams, stating that the sport should have at least two more teams.

Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes the sport should feature a third car dedicated to young drivers, as a cheap method than buying an existing team and create it as a junior team.

Wolff presented the idea due to his junior drivers Esteban Ocon and Russell struggling to find a seat in F1 next year.

Russell, currently leads the F2 championship with ART Grand Prix, opted to skip running in Free Practice 1 with Racing Point Force India F1 Team at the Italian Grand Prix in order to focus on his title aspirations. His rival Lando Norris ran in FP1 with McLaren F1 Team at that Grand Prix, where he will race next year in F1.

Russell told Motorsport.com that he feels like the sport is lacking teams, feeling that F1 should have two more teams to give drivers enough seats.

“I feel like Formula 1 is currently lacking at least two teams,” said Russell.

“We only have 20 cars on the grid, as a young driver trying to break into that 20 is extremely difficult.I think the idea of a third car, or something along those lines, is a very good idea. 

“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.”

The 2012 Formula 1 Season was the last year the sport had twelve teams competing on the grid. HRT, Marussia and Caterham F1 Team joined the sport in 2010 which pushed the grid up to 24 cars.

But 2018 sees the sport only having twenty cars, leaving some drivers who are seeking a drive to lose out.

Whilst some members of the paddock have reacted negatively over the idea of adding an extra car, Russell says the idea is worthwhile for those who can afford it.

“Formula 1 is an extremely expensive sport because of the development, not because of the actual cost of the building the front wings or whatever,” Russell added.

“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. 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.”