The current crop of Formula 1 drivers would willingly accept two teammates, if the sport decides to go the route of three cars per team grid amid the financial difficulties of backmarkers Marussia and Caterham.
The two outfits have recently gone into administration and will be missing this week's US Grand Prix, leaving only 18 cars on the grid.
As per the bilateral agreements, some of the wealthier teams are obliged to run third cars, if the grid number falls below 20 cars. While FIA have denied that the teams will be asked to field an additional car this year, the same cannot be said about next season. It all depends on the ability of Marussia and Caterham to find new buyers who are willing to pay their debts, which have accumulated since their humble beginnings in the sport under differ names and ownership in 2010.
Current points tally leader Lewis Hamilton believes adding a third car would give young drivers a chance to get more hands-on experience with F1 machinery: “If it’s a position perhaps for a younger driver it could be quite good. Especially bringing them on, giving them the best experience, especially putting them alongside top drivers who have the experience, perhaps, it will come along a lot more than they ever have in the past.”
“When I think about the two teams that have dropped out my biggest concern really is for all the employees in those teams that have to provide for their familiar who don’t have, perhaps, a job now. But if we do do this, perhaps they still have space in other teams,'' he added.
Having outclassed four time world champion Sebastian Vettel in his first season at Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo is not scared from the thought of having two teammates to beat.
“From my side having another team mate, I wouldn’t see any negatives. I remember 2008 I think I had six team mates at one point, with Formula Renault, so it was like being in a school class room. I wouldn’t see any downside from a driver’s point of view,'' the Australian said.
Lotus' Romain Grosjean believes three car outfits would provide drivers an opportunity to show their talent against not one but two drivers in equal machinery, giving them a chance to impress the big boys.
“A third car would certainly help some of us have a good reputation,'' Grosjean said. “If you’re in a good team and you are fighting with the same cars, what we call the superstars, than it gives you an opportunity to show how strong you are and to get then called one of those superstars.”
Sergio Perez echoed Grosjean's words; the Mexican would be eyeing a return to a top team in near-future, having impressed this year with midfielders Force India.
"Obviously there will be a bit more of a chance,'' Perez said. "Formula One is really limited. The spaces where you can go and where you can actually win during a year, so it can create a bit more opportunity to the drivers, as a driver point of view.