F1 to consider ‘third car’ issue for 2013

UPDATE #2 FIA boss Bernie Ecclestone had also reportedly shot down the proposal.

Martin Whitmarsh

10/30/11 (GMM) Martin Whitmarsh on Sunday confirmed reports McLaren is still opposed to the idea of 'customer cars' in formula one.

The possible redefinition of a 'constructor' will be debated next week at the F1 Commission in Geneva.

It is believed Bernie Ecclestone is now supportive of Ferrari's renewed push to be allowed to sell an entire chassis to a small team. The F1 chief executive's support could be a move to further split the unity of the teams’ association, with McLaren and Red Bull reportedly opposed to the third car idea.

McLaren's Whitmarsh is also the head of the team alliance FOTA, whose unity is already being tested by alleged breaches of the cost-limiting resource restriction agreement.

It is alleged the proponents of customer cars will argue that big teams are already selling their intellectual property through technology deals such as McLaren's with Virgin. In India, however, Whitmarsh confirmed his opposition.

"We have a duty to support the sport and the teams," he is quoted by the Press Trust of India. “It (customer cars) will probably destroy the smaller teams. "Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, and maybe Mercedes can possibly do it, but if we manage the sport badly, the number of teams may drop to eight," he said. "There should be sustained business for all teams."

10/30/11 (GMM) New fuel has been added to Ferrari's push to have three cars on the formula one grid.

After India, key officials will move on to Geneva, when next Thursday the F1 Commission meets.

La Stampa newspaper reports that one of the topics on the agenda is the redefinition of a formula one constructor.

According to Italiaracing, the news emerged after a team bosses meeting in India on Friday.

The outcome of the F1 Commission vote will settle the debate about whether big teams should be able to rent or sell their chassis designs to smaller teams.

The Italian report said F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is now on Ferrari's side for a change of definition for the 2013 Concorde Agreement.

Ecclestone would reportedly like to see struggling teams like HRT be able to, for example, buy a Ferrari chassis and improve the show by running more competitively and attracting more sponsors.

And the advantage for Ferrari would be to gain a 'satellite' team to develop, for example, its young drivers and engineers.

La Stampa said key voices including McLaren and Red Bull are opposed to the idea.

The proponents, however, could argue that those teams are already sharing their intellectual property, including via McLaren's deal with Force India, and Red Bull's with Team Lotus.

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