When Adam Parr, the former Chairman at WilliamsF1 put out a tweet on Sunday morning suggesting that Formula 1 would increase to three-car teams in desperation to keep the series healthy, a flurry of internet posts and social media speculation hit the motorsport scene like wildfire.
With 11 teams entering a mandatory two-car lineup, the current state of Formula 1 currently rides in a tricky balance of measuring the sport’s heritage vs. the sport’s need to look forward.
The current challenge is that quite a few teams currently in Formula 1 are on the rumored brink of closure. Allegedly on life support, the teams of Marussia, Caterham, and Sauber have been incurring very public battles with their financing and desires to be bought out, meanwhile teams like Lotus and Force India continue to be vocal about their challenges to sustain the current operational costs of Formula 1.
On the optimistic side, we will likely have two less teams in 2015, and on the pessimistic side we could lose up to five. Doing the math, this could conceivably leave us with grids of 12 cars, which would be a disaster for the sport.
One could easily argue that the world of professional motorsports, as it stands now, is over saturated.
When you think of professional football, what sanctioning do you think of?
When you think of professional basketball, what sanctioning do you think of?
When you think of professional racing, what sanctioning do you think of?
NASCAR, Formula 1, WEC, IMSA, IndyCar, World Challenge, MotoGP, AMA, WRC, Blancpain Endurance, DTM… and so on.
See the point?
The motorsports landscape is as saturated as it is complex, and this in many ways presents a fundamental problem for media, fans, and sponsors alike. The reciprocal issue comes from the fact that this is a complication CREATED by media, fans, and sponsors alike. Since the automobile presents such a diversity of clientele, the diversity of racing endeavors that springs from it is a natural evolution. Whether it’s a company like Ferrari or McLaren who invest heavily in to Formula 1 due to its heritage as the premier World Championship, or Audi who prefers the open technology platform that the WEC provides, or a company like Chevrolet who prefers the mass appeal among Americans that you get with NASCAR.