F1: Andretti needs ‘a billion’ for F1 entry – Wolff, but Brown backs Andretti

(GMM) A $200 million fee will not be enough to convince existing Formula 1 teams to open the door to an eleventh competitor like Andretti.

That is the word of Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who earlier said that he thinks the current ten teams are “enough” for a full and healthy F1 grid.

It follows F1 legend Mario Andretti’s revelation that his son Michael’s US-based racing empire is in talks with the FIA about a new team entry for 2024.

Mario Andretti

There is talk of a $200 million ‘anti-dilution’ fee that would address Wolff’s fears that an eleventh team only means a more diluted share of the sport’s official income.

The FIA also reacted by insisting it is “not currently in a position to consider” allowing an eleventh team to race.

“Andretti is a big name and the American market is very important for everyone,” Wolff said on Wednesday when asked again about the latest reports.

“But the arrival of a new team should be beneficial to everyone. It’s not just paying the $200m entry fee. In my opinion, such a team should show what it can do for the other teams, for Formula 1 and for the FIA.

“Formula 1 is the absolute pinnacle of motorsport,” the Austrian added, “like the Champions League or the NFL in America. And franchising is not something we want to do.

“But if it’s a really great brand with strong people and the necessary funding, then it won’t be $200 million for an entry fee, but much more.

“You’d need a billion dollars if you want to play in this club. If they have that kind of money, then why not?” Wolff said.

Fellow top team Red Bull’s Christian Horner agrees that it is not a straightforward matter for an entity like Andretti to enter Formula 1.

“It’s nice that they’re interested,” he said. “But there are some clear terms and conditions attached to the Concorde Agreement. They’re working on that now.

“That agreement defends the ten competitors that are already there so it needs to be looked at carefully.”

Adrian Newey, and Christian Horner (team principal red bull racing) chief technical officer Red Bull Racing during the winter testing days, Barcelona 23-25 February 2022, Formula 1 World championship 2022.


Andretti’s buddy and co-team owner in Supercars, Zak Brown, says there is no doubt that Andretti is exactly the kind of operation that should be encouraged in to F1, and he thinks current outfits will only stand to gain from its arrival.

“I think Andretti as a name, as a highly credible racing team, and knowing who his backers are, and who he is, they will no doubt help us grow the sport in North America,” Brown told Motorsport.com.

“I think the teams that may not support another team are being short-sighted.

“Are we trying to grow the sport? Or are we doing what racing teams have a bad tendency to do, which is think about today and not the future.”

“There is the dilution payment, which kind of covers you for a couple of years,” said Brown.

“But you have to assume that Andretti will help us grow in North America, which will compensate for any dilution.

“If that is $100 million, can they help us grow $100 million more in revenue for the sport through TV and interest in sport? I think so.

“And the easiest thing after is to continue to look to reduce expenditure. In three or four year’s time, after the dilution payment is no longer in, just reduce our budget by $10 million a year.

“His father’s a world champion, he’s driven in F1, and he’s got multiple racing teams,” added Brown.

“I know who his financial backers are, and they are exactly the type of investors you would want in motor sport.

“Also, you can only have 12 teams on the grid. So once you have 12, you’re really in a situation where the only way to enter the sport is to acquire. So I think it will also further enhance the value of all the teams.

“Again, I think it’s short sighted to not want other credible teams to come in because of dilution.”

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