Wolff calls for third car to promote young F1 drivers

Toto Wolff says young drivers should be given the opportunity to thrive in F1 by allowing teams to have three cars.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff   -  Getty Images

Formula One teams should be allowed to field a third car to allow the next generation of drivers cut their teeth at the highest level, according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

As the driver line-up for 2019 continues to take shape, Mercedes remains unsure where exciting prospects Esteban Ocon, George Russell and Pascal Wehrlein will fit.

Ocon is currently with Racing Point Force India and has 37 points to his name, but his future is uncertain following a takeover of the team.

A switch to Renault had been mooted but Daniel Ricciardo's move to the French team ended that hope, while Lance Stroll has been tipped to take his place with Force India.

After two seasons in F1, Wehrlein lost his Sauber seat for 2018, while F2 championship leader Russell has been limited to a role as Mercedes' test driver.

The lack of opportunities is a frustration for Wolff and he believes a change needs to be made to help youngsters learn their trade.

"I have a simple solution," Wolff said, as quoted by Autosport. "Give us a third car. Make it mandatory to put a young driver, with maximum two years [experience], in that car."

"The costs wouldn't be huge. The grid would be packed and we would have fantastic shows of new kids on the block coming up and fighting hard with the Valtteris and Lewis' of this world and surprising us. I think we should take risks, we should put 18 or 19-year-old top talents in a top car and give them a chance."