3 Car Teams and Customer Cars Coming to F1

Formula 1 2015: 3 Car Teams

Shortly after this morning’s Formula 1 Grand Prix of Italy at Monza, the racing world was rocked by a tweet from ex-Williams F1 Team executive Adam Parr. I’ve included Mr. Parr’s tweet, below, for you to read for yourself.

Is Parr’s tweet true? Is this a real thing?


The idea of teams running more than the traditional 2 cars has been floated in F1 before, usually by the likes of McLaren and Ferrari – both of which are well-funded teams that have been struggling since the in-season test ban was implemented a few years ago who are expected to use the third car as a test bed for new parts during races. In this version of things, however, they’ll be running 3 cars not to circumvent the test ban, but because there won’t be enough cars for F1 to put on a show, otherwise.

True or not, Parr’s words “immediately sent worried eyes around the paddock, as protagonists wondered who the departing three teams could be,” according to Motorsport.com – although one candidate is the recently sold Caterham team, which has shed nearly a third of its staff since the start of the 2014 season.

Other candidates for the axe are the nearly bankrupt Team Lotus, the financially embattled Force India team, and the back marker Marussia team, which has scored only a single point since its competitive debut in 2010.

Another way forward, perhaps, for Formula 1 might be the implementation of customer cars. Meaning, a team like Ferrari would build a number of cars, then sell or lease some of those to smaller teams like Sauber or the upcoming Hass F1 team. An arrangement like that might make sense for some of the teams, with McLaren already supplying parts to Force India and Toro Rosso already serving as Red Bull’s junior team.

Maybe Parr misinterpreted what he heard? In any event, 2015 is already shaping up to be a bonkers year for Formula 1. Here’s hoping Honda is ready for it!


Sources | Images: Adam Parr, Motorsport.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.