F1: The only way into F1 is to buy an existing team – Horner (2nd Update)

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown told Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal he is not convinced that the Andretti family’s bid to get an F1 expansion franchise is dead yet, but he acknowledged that it is meeting headwinds in the F1 paddock.

Brown: “I hope it’s not dead; I don’t think it’s dead. But it certainly seems like it’s meeting a lot of resistance.” F1 teams agreed to a $200M buy-in fee when they passed the Concorde Agreement in ’20, but there has been chatter recently that the number should be higher because the sport has seen huge growth since the pandemic.

Asked what he thinks the current buy-in fee should be, Brown said, “I wouldn’t want to comment on what I think the right number is, but what I would say is the value of an F1 franchise from when the Concorde Agreement was signed to now — it’s grown rapidly. Ultimately, it’s up to F1 to decide what the right number to buy in is, but what an F1 team was worth three years ago — it’s significantly more today.”

As for Colton Herta who drives for Andretti in IndyCar, making it into F1, Brown said, “The potential is definitely there. If you look at his results in IndyCar, he’s extremely fast. He was Lando’s teammate in Europe many years ago, and Lando rates him very highly, so he has an extremely good chance and is very capable of being an F1 driver. That’s why we’re testing him, and one of these days should the stars align, which if the seats available and Colton is available and proves to us in testing that he’s capable, which we fully anticipate, then yes, I can see him in F1 whether with McLaren or another team. That would be additive to the great exposure that F1 already has in North America. We’ve got Las Vegas, we’ve only done Miami once, so we’re still in the early days of the rapid growth of F1.”

June 3, 2022 

Word in the F1 paddock is that Michael Andretti has a near zero chance of being approved to enter a team in F1 unless he rides the Audi or Porsche horse into F1.

June 1, 2022 

Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner welcomed the possibility of Porsche and Audi entering Formula 1 races, saying it was “logical” for his team to hold discussions with the German carmakers.

“I think it’s fantastic that they’re talking about coming into Formula 1,” Horner said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “They’re iconic brands — particularly Porsche. It would be logical to hold conversations with them after declaring their intent to enter the sport.”

Horner doesn’t see any new entrants getting into Formula 1 until 2026, so taking on an existing franchise would be the only way in for a new party until then.

VW Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said last month that with the growing popularity of Formula 1 in the US and China, entering the sport would allow both companies to boost sales.  —Bloomberg

As we stated in this article, the only sure way for Michael Andretti to get a team into F1 is to hook up with Porsche and Audi, or Honda if they change their mind and decide to stay in F1 given the new ‘green’ 2026 F1 engine formula.

Andretti supposedly has an agreement to use Renault engines if his team gets into F1, but it’s looking increasingly likely that’s  the wrong horse to ride to get approval into F1.