JANUARY 26, 2005
Ferrari to build a three-seater F1 car
Ferrari boss Jean Todt has told Autocar magazine in England that the team is working to build a three-seater F1 car which will allow the team to give its VIP guests a bit of a thrill. The team discovered the value of two-seaters after Michael Schumacher tested one of the Minardi two-seaters back in November 2002 after which Ferrari sponsor Marlboro signed a contract with Minardi for a long-term programme which means that nowadays there are three Minardi two-seaters which are permanently pianted Maranello red. It has been a very successful programme for both parties.
The problem with a three seater is that there are inherent dangers in the design of the car. Tom Walkinshaw built a three-seater Arrows but the drivers who tried it were not very happy with the car. The passengers are located in the sidepods and that means that there legs are very exposed in an accident. In a sideways impact they have very little protection and there is the additional danger of a wheel folding back and hitting them. Although the two-seater idea, pioneered by McLaren, means that the passengers view is somewhat obscured, it is a great deal safer than any three-wheeler design.
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