Recent rumours around the arrival of new teams to the paddock peaked when Rodin Carlin, Hitech Grand Prix, LKYSUNZ and Andretti all lodged interest in joining the grid – although only the latter would be successful in gaining the FIA’s approval, now just requiring the approval of FOM.
However, multiple F1 team principals have not been on board with the idea of a growing field, frequently citing reduced finances as a reason why an eleventh team would not be feasible despite the security of 2020’s Concorde Agreement, which encompasses as many as 12 entries.
F1 has boomed in the last five years, with the ten teams’ value being estimated by Forbes as $1.88 billion in 2023, showing an increase of almost 300% since 2019.
The sport is therefore clearly on the right track, something that could be put down to a plethora of sporting and commercial reasons, but Toto Wolff believes that it is the closeness of the current ten teams that has played a large part in the sport’s current stability, suggesting his opposition to an Andretti entry.
“I think why F1 and the teams have survived in the last years is because we all stuck together,” he told Motorsport.com.
“The FIA, FOM and the 10 teams, we need to protect the sport. We’re holding this sensitive sport that’s growing at the moment in our hands.
“And that’s why the right decisions need to be taken all of us together, when it comes to, let’s say, a mindset and then obviously the FIA and F1 when it comes to these decisions because it’s out of the teams’ hands.”
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has also previously expressed his concern about the arrival of an 11th F1 team.
With their messy sponsorship partings with drinks company Rich Energy and Russian oil giant Uralkali all too recent, it’s no secret that Haas has been financially pressured in Wolff’s implied period of stability, and although they seem to be finding their feet once more, a shakeup could compromise their – or another team’s – future in F1.
"Everybody forgot how five years ago, people were going bankrupt. This was not 20 years ago and this can always come back,” Steiner told Mirror Sport.
“It's not guaranteed that F1 will continue like it is so it's better to build up to buffer the 10 teams we have and to look after them, because they were here in the bad times as well.
"When we came in, we didn't get any prize money for two years, and Mr Haas had to pay for it. So why would we share it now with other people?”
Andretti’s intentions of joining F1 as their own entity were becoming clearer and clearer prior to the FIA’s approval of their entry as the American outfit revealed re-branding to Andretti Global and the establishment of a new Racing and Technology HQ in Indiana.
However, Red Bull’s Helmut Marko has previously explained that he believes their purchase of another team, such as Alpine, whose financial and sporting struggles have been all too evident in 2023, would suit everyone involved, rather than disrupting F1’s current set-up by adding another team.
He told German TV channel Sport1: “Andretti should buy Alpine.”
"That would be best for everyone. Formula 1 would keep its 10 teams, Andretti could finally get in and Renault would still be involved."
McLaren Racing’s Chief Executive, whose role incorporates the management of teams in IndyCar, Extreme E and Formula E as well as F1, has shown his support of Andretti’s F1 entry in contrast to the stance of other team principals.
Currently working closely with Andretti’s parent company General Motors in IndyCar through their supply of Chevrolet engines, Brown previously expressed his excitement for Andretti’s potential entry and the value they could bring to F1, although has also questioned the financial aspects of their position.
“I think our view's unchanged,” he told Autosport. “And we’re just going to kind of wait and see how the process plays out.
Rewind to the end of 2021 and Alfa Romeo was heavily linked to an Andretti takeover themselves. Before their deal with Audi, it looked likely that they would be swallowed up by the American motorsport giant, however, the deal quickly fell through.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Alfa Romeo’s team representative, has suggested his support for Andretti, but only on the condition that they will not drop out of Formula 1 in just a handful of years.
“We think that any new team must bring an added value to the entire F1 community,” Bravi said to Autosport.
“And so it needs to be a solid project, not just for a five-year period, but it must be a really long-term project with a strong foundation, and of course, any new entry needs to recognise the value and all the investments that have been done by the current teams.
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