Levelling the playing field is F1's priority insists Carey

Ahead of tomorrow’s official unveiling of the 2021 regulations, speaking in an investors conference call, F1 boss, Chase Carey has said that improving the racing, by means of levelling the playing field, must take priority over encouraging new teams to enter the sport.

“Today we have ten teams, and historically we’ve had up to twelve,” said the American. “I’m quite comfortable with ten, I think it’s a quality issue not quantity, obviously a certain quantity, but I think ten, eleven, twelve… today we have a competition at the front among three teams and not ten teams.

“I think if we are able to make a competition among ten teams that’s the much bigger issue than realistically if we added an eleventh and twelfth team, we would just be making the group of seven that’s behind the group of three, they would then be the group of nine behind the group of three. And I don’t think that’s doing a lot for the sport.

“We want to make the sport more exciting and inviting to potential new teams,” he continued. “We have a number of parties that have expressed an interest in the sport, I think they all want to see what are the rules are around the cost cap, see it finalised to know what they’re coming in to.”

Of course, a similar invitation was sent out previously, with new rules, which promised a more level playing field, encouraging three new teams to the sport in 2010, none of which are still competing, after the promise was broken and the sport retained its ‘traditional’ meritocracy.

Nonetheless, Carey envisages a future where more teams are not just competing for podiums but wins.

“If we went from three to six to seven, I think that’s an enormous change in a positive way,” he said. “You’d like all ten teams, every one, to have a shot, you’re always going to have favourites and underdogs, that’s probably good too.

“I don’t know if pure parity is the goal you strive for and it’s probably not realistic,” he admitted, “but you want an underdog having a chance to win, but it’s about the quality of the teams not the quantity.”

Of course, with doubt over the futures of Mercedes, Renault and Haas after 2021, the idea of twelve, or even ten teams, competing for wins, may be a pipe dream.