F1's big teams can plug any holes on the grand prix grids by fielding third cars, according to chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

F1's big teams can plug any holes on the grand prix grids by fielding third cars, according to chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

In the wake of Honda's departure from the sport, and speculation that further teams might succumb to the effects of the global financial crisis, formula one is facing an immediate future with grids of perhaps fewer than eighteen drivers.

Short of plugging the gaps with new team entrants, Briton Ecclestone, 78, says the easiest solution to the problem is to ask the best-financed existing teams to enter more cars.

"That is what basically will happen," said Ecclestone, who has denied that he is contractually bound to organisers and broadcasters to provide well-stocked fields.

He explained to Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa: "If the manufacturers supply engines to other people, they can run three cars themselves."

Ecclestone hinted that the third car provision could be triggered immediately, such as if a buyer is not found for Honda's Brackley based team.

"It is better to have 20 cars on the grid, whether they are in the hands of manufacturers or in private hands, that doesn't make any difference," he said.

 

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