- Oct 27, 2014
As F1 approaches a new season with just 18 cars on the grid, Bernie Ecclestone has reportedly been pushing for a junior division of older F1 cars to boost grid numbers should they fall any further.
With Force India, Lotus and Sauber having faced much speculation regarding their financial health over the winter, it is not impossible that the numbers could fall to below 16 sometime in the future. It is rumoured that falling below 16 would breach the minimum cars promised in F1’s commercial agreements with the host circuits, so Ecclestone is understandably keen for a back-up solution.
Three-car teams and a “Super GP2” format where higher-power GP2 cars would race alongside F1s were both suggested last year, but Auto Motor und Sport has now claimed that 2013 Red Bulls with V8 engines would be the spec-car for a cheaper second division, starting at €15 million per team.
Their correspondent Michael Schmidt elaborates: "The former F1 team boss Colin Kolles would prepare the base as the 2013 Red Bull chassis. The V8 engine would be produced by Flavio Briatore at Mecachrome." Schmidt also noted that the proposal was rejected by Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes at last Thursday’s F1 Strategy Group, but don’t expect this to be the last you hear of a possible F1 junior class, especially if it involves Kolles and Briatore, two people who are apparently never entirely gone from F1.
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