F1: New team F1 fee must increase – Domenicali

(GMM) F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has confirmed reports that the new team entry fee is set to soar from its current $200 million.

The sport’s existing teams have been reluctant to embrace the interest of new parties including Andretti-Cadillac and others on the basis that it dilutes the value of their own franchises.

The ‘anti-dilution’ fee payable by new entries was introduced some years ago to tackle that phenomenon – but Domenicali admits it now has to be put up even more.

“When we set it, nobody would have expected that the value of Formula 1 would increase so much,” said Domenicali.

“It’s our duty to make sure we protect the business as best we can.”

The Italian admitted that there are “many” groups interested in entering Formula 1 – some that make “more noise” than others.

“But the interest is really there,” the former Ferrari boss admits. “That’s why we have to evaluate it now.

“We are doing that and will make the right adjustments at the right time.”

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Another sign of F1’s impressive current health is the race calendar – with Domenicali insisting he could easily expand it above even the 30-race mark.

“The current calendar seems balanced to me,” he said, “even though we are exploring the possibility of holding a grand prix in Africa.

“But the historical status of the tracks no longer matters. You can’t live only in the past,” Domenicali warned. “Arrogance and confidence in renewing a contract just because you have been hosting races for 100 years is no longer enough.”

He said one interesting factor about F1’s current popularity is that the ‘new audience’ – including many more female spectators – is not too bothered about Red Bull’s dominance.

“It matters for the loyal fans,” said Domenicali. “But the new markets, the new fans that are entering the business, it’s not really something that matters.

“It’s much more important that every grand prix is different from the one before and the one that is next,” he explained, referring to new measures like the tweaked ‘sprint race’ qualifying format changes.

“Each one has to be a different, new experience, not only in terms of what’s happening on the track, but also because of what’s happening off the track.

“It’s very important,” Domenicali said.

Asked whether there is work being done on a race taking place in Africa, Domenicali said speaking to Sky Sports: “100 percent, Africa is still a continent that we are working very hard.

“As I always said, we need to find the right partners, the right middle-term plan.”

“What I want to avoid is that we go there one year and then forget it,” he said.

“We are working, trying to find a solution for the best of the sport, for the best of the country.”

The Italian suggested that he had been contacted by Asian and US promoters, but that he does not anticipate more venues in those areas in the next “couple of years”.

“There is a lot of interest in far East Asia, more interest in the US,” said Domenicali, who has recently overseen the addition of Miami and Las Vegas to the Texas race that was already on the calendar.

“But at this moment, we have three, which I think is the right number for the next couple of years.

“The most important thing is that every Grand Prix has to be different in terms of personality – we want to have the city living the event, that’s the magic of Formula 1.”

Another venue interested in hosting Formula 1 came to the fore in November when the mayor of Barranquilla, Colombia, Jamie Pumarejo, spoke of his desire to host a ‘Caribbean Grand Prix’ on the north coast of South America.



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