Cape Town – As Mercedes face a dilema finding seats on the F1 gird for their young drivers, Toto Wolff has proposed running a third car for drivers with “two years” or less experience.
With Mercedes having already locked in their line up for next season, retaining Valtteri Bottas alongside Lewis Hamilton, the team’s other drivers could be left out in the cold.
Esteban Ocon is on the verge of losing his Force India to Lance Stroll with Wolff struggling to find him a new home while Formula 2 championship leader George Russell is also wanting a promotion to F1.
Wolff’s solution, a third car specifically for young drivers.
“I have a simple solution,” explained the Mercedes motorsport boss.
“Give us a third car. Make it mandatory to put a young driver, with maximum two years [of F1 experience], in that car.
“The costs wouldn’t be huge. The grid would be packed and we would have fantastic shows of new kids on the block coming up and fighting hard with the Valtteris and Lewises of this world and surprising us.”
Wolff added that no matter how much teams like Mercedes, and even Ferrari, want to promote young talent, it is a risk putting them in the car early in their careers.
“The big teams are not going to take risks with young drivers.
“Now, you can say ‘well, that’s boring’. I think it’s boring. We should take risks, we should put 18-year or 19-year-old great talents in a top car and give them a chance.
“But the problem is if you lose a Drivers’ Championship or a Constructors’ Championship because they have a learning curve then it’s obviously not great. And we haven’t done it and Ferrari haven’t done it in the past so we need to question that.”