Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon believes three-car teams would be detrimental for Formula 1, as he reckons smaller squads are vital for the sport.
Earlier this year, fears emerged that the bigger teams were secretly pushing to drive smaller squads out of business in order to introduce customer cars in the future. Ferrari has been one of the main supporters of three-car teams in recent years, claiming that it would make the field more competitive.
Lowdon, whose team entered Formula 1 in 2010 and is yet to score a point, reckons the sport’s fans would not like to see a reduced number of teams even if grid sizes remain unchanged.
“I certainly think F1’s future would be richer and brighter for the fans if there is a diversity of teams,” Lowdon said. “And a smaller number of teams, or very small number running more cars without any question I am convinced that would not be such a valuable proposition. In terms of the show the fans would lose out.
“It is a team sport; the drivers are the heroes, but it is a team game and [when] you reduce the number of teams you reduce the competition it is as simple as that.
“It is good to have diversity that we have got. Maybe plus or minus a team or two, but [we] never want to see it go much smaller than it is.”
Marussia is known to have held talks with rival Caterham about a possible merger in the past, but the idea never materialized. Lowdon’s squad secured 10th place in the constructors’ championship for the first time this year, an achievement that could mean a significant financial boost for 2015.
Lowdon, who says his team has the smallest budget in F1, reckons that beating Caterham shows teams can succeed despite its financial limitations.
“It is comfortable that this season we would have had by far the lowest budget in F1,” he said. “My guess is next year we would have had almost the same again. That is something I have to point out. The competition toward the back has been tight and exciting.
“Maybe I haven’t really paid that much attention to everything that is happening at the front, but there does seem to be a huge speed disparity [there] and I don’t think that necessarily contributes to the level of excitement that there should be.
“Maybe there are lessons that can be learned from mid-grid or front-grid and skill gets rewarded more than financial strength. I think we have the lowest budget in F1 and we are not the lowest-placed team now so it shows that you can move forward.”