McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh has downplayed the prospect of three-car teams while the current F1 grid remains healthily subscribed, amid Ferrari’s ongoing enthusiasm to enter a third car for Valentino Rossi another driver.

Whitmarsh confirmed that a recent FOTA meeting addressed the issue, and admitted that the concept would only be looked into “if you get a reduced number of teams,” he said, while adding that FOTA wants the current new teams to “develop and flourish” in direct contrast to Ferrari’s ongoing criticism of the three rookie outfits.

"McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes would all probably be happy to have a third car, but I think in fairness to the smaller teams it would only disadvantage them further," he added.

However, should the bigger be given the opportunity to enter third cars, Whitmarsh acknowledged that it would provide opportunity for celebrity drivers to enter, such as Valentino Rossi, rally star Sebastien Loeb and NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson.

"So in the event that the number of teams drops below 10 – and at the moment we’re hoping it is 13 next year – it would be a fantastic opportunity," he concluded.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.