"Second Division" Red Bulls to boost dwindling F1 grid?

Jordan Adcock

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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Thomas Mundy

Jan 1, 2010
Unfortunately there's a conflict of interests here. Ecclestone is only interested in lining his own pockets so there's no way he's going to encourage teams to make it more affordable because the big teams want to keep spending and he wants to keep getting their money. Bernie is selfish and always has been and until he leaves, F1 will not improve on this front.
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James Cook

Marcas fan
Oct 18, 2013
I'm in despair at the way this sport is run. It's farcical. Talk about outlandish proposals that skirt around the real issues with F1.


May 10, 2013
That's the dumbest thing I've heard since double points.

Get a way to make it a lot more affordable.
Making it more affordable, doesn't fix the money issues. If you don't have money to pay than you can't pay ! Any billionaire could buy Marussia and pay off everything with a blink of an eye. Making it more affordable doesn't fix the initial issue, but yes it will help to prevent it better in the future once the prior issues fixed.


Oct 20, 2010
Making it more affordable, doesn't fix the money issues.
That doesn't make any sense. Of course it does. The cheaper something is, the higher the number of people that can afford it.

It's well-documented how much higher the costs went when the 2014 engines were introduced, with their complex and expensive systems like MGU-K and all the other K's. And it's no coincidence that teams who weren't struggling at all in years leading up to 2014 - Force India, Sauber and Lotus - were suddenly threatening to quit due to budget constraints. Marussia and Caterham needing to quit even before season's end was and even clearer sign.

We need 12 or 13 teams again in F1, and currently that's not viable financially.


Jun 4, 2013
What on earth? Who came up with this idea, it's completely ridiculous. What did they
take F1 for , some GT division? What don't they put some Formula E cars running at the
end of the grid, to make some ''noise'' too.

Wouldn't the 2013 cars do faster laptimes?
No, not anymore.

Andrew Harper

Dec 1, 2014
From a personal point of view I've always felt the issues with the massive spending in F1 could be...

1. Every time they try and reduce the spending budget the cash the big teams have lying around get's moved elsewhere. They cut back on testing, the money gets moved to the aero development, etc.
2. The number of races! There are in my view too many now. If the WEC had almost 20 races a year the LMP-H teams probably wouldn't be able to afford it. I feel that is a big burden on any new team.

Yes I partially agree with peoples views that if you don't have the money you shouldn't take part but if we end up with a dozen cars in the next few years it could do damage to the image of the sport.

The teams spend millions just developing the front wing for each race, if you wanted to you could apply the same rule to the cars as they currently have on the engines, you're only allowed so many updates a year. maybe.

Should they bring back single car teams?

A few years back I went to a grand prix for about 20 years and the pits environment is unreal, the valve caps on the lorries probably cost more than my car. haha.

With regards to two classes racing at the same time, fair enough, but what happens if the "junior" cars provide better racing than the ones up front! haha.

I have a work colleague who used to be an F1 mechanic and as far as he's concerned if you can't afford it you shouldn't be there and basically remove all the regs because F1 should be the pinnacle of Motorsport. If they want to run a V12 twin turbo with ground effects and massive downforce then let them do it.

Gert Snyman

Aug 1, 2011
What on earth? Who came up with this idea, it's completely ridiculous. What did they
take F1 for , some GT division? What don't they put some Formula E cars running at the
end of the grid, to make some ''noise'' too.

No, not anymore.
The 2013 cars will be faster if they use the 2013 aero packages. Go look at the lap times from last year compared to 2013.

What they might do is restrict the cars to be slower then the turbo's .

Think Bernie must stop being so greedy.