Ecclestone wants teams to run three cars
Bernie Ecclestone wants to see big teams run third cars and believes smaller outfits should quit F1 if they are unable to foot the bill.
Cost-cutting has been on the agenda this season and the idea of bigger teams running customer cars has already been mooted as one possible solution. But Ecclestone feels it would be in F1's best interests commercially to allow the bigger teams to run a third car under their own banners, even if it forced some smaller teams out of the sport.
"They must stop," Ecclestone told Gazzetta dello Sport when asked what smaller teams should do about costs being out of control. "If you don't have the finances, you quit. I'm ready for a Formula 1 with eight teams with three cars each.
"Is it better to have a third Ferrari or a Caterham? Ferrari could maybe find new sponsors in the USA and an American driver: fantastic. It is the same for the others. Take Caterham: it has invested lots of money and it would need just as much, so it looks for paying drivers. What for, since it has never been competitive?"
Even though Haas Formula will join the grid in 2016, and with rumours of another team ready to be accepted into the fold, Ecclestone thinks buying existing outfits is actually the way forward for those wishing to enter the sport.
"It's not easy to start from scratch, F1 costs money," he said. "To buy a team with a windtunnel, simulator and so on, one requires an investment of around €150 million. And you haven't even started: then you need the drivers, the right technicians to build the car, and the good ones are few and expensive. That's why Ferrari wanted Newey."
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