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Third car rule remains

NEWS STORY
24/10/2005

Despite claims that the third car rule will be dropped in 2006, the Formula One commission has chosen to retain it.

The idea, first introduced to assist small teams such as Minardi and Jordan in an effort to give them some extra testing and additional track time for sponsors, proved highly beneficial to successive 'big' teams that were able to take advantage of the rule.

In 2003, Renault used the Friday sessions to its advantage, eventually taking fourth in the World Championship. Responding to Ron Dennis, who had previously described the third cars as 'track cleaners', Flavio Briatore dedicated Fernando Alonso's Hungary win to the 'housewives of the world'.

In 2004, BAR used its third car to its advantage, taking the runner up spot behind Ferrari, while ironically, in 2005 it was McLaren that benefited, despite Dennis' attempts to wreck the rule in previous years, imposing all manner of limits on who could and couldn't drive the third car.

In 2006, WilliamsF1, BAR, Red Bull, BMW, Midlands and Squadra Toro Rosso will all make use of the third car rule - Midland having already announced that Nicky Pastorelli will drive its car.

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