Red Bull question 11th team accommodation
By Ian Parkes
Sunday 14th May, 2023 - 1:54pm
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has raised doubt as to how F1 could accommodate an 11th team on a number of levels.
The FIA’s Expressions of Interest process is due to close by the end of the month, with a number of potential entrants looking at joining the 10 teams on the current grid, with long-time suitor Andretti being the forerunner.
Since Michael Andretti first threw his hat into the ring a year ago, there has been plenty of objection from the incumbents over the viability of a new team joining their ranks.
The primary concern has long been what an 11th team would bring to the table to help grow the business, and also what F1 would do to ensure the 10 current teams are financially compensated given the level of revenue received from the sport’s commercial rights holder, Liberty Media.
There have been discussions aired of raising the anti-dilution fee – the sum of money a new team would have to pay to enter F1 – from US$ 200 million to $600m.
Asked whether he was still against a new team joining, he added: “Yeah, I think the issues remain the same as 12 months ago.
“Fiscally, what is the incentive for an existing team or franchise to accept an 11th entrant? And then, ultimately, who pays?
“If it dilutes the income of the 10, it’s like turkeys voting for Christmas. Why would they do that? Is Liberty prepared to pay and fund an 11th team? Is the FIA prepared to reduce its fees to help accommodate it? There are all the financial aspects.”
Horner feels there are other concerns that also need to be addressed.
He added: “Beyond that as well is the way that the sport has now developed.
“If you look at the pit lane, for example, in Miami, or somewhere like Monaco, Zandvoort, or some of the circuits that we’re now racing at, where would we be able to accommodate an 11th team?
“Operationally, where do we put the motorhomes? Where do we put the support? Where do the trucks go?
“I just think it would be an incredibly difficult thing to be accommodated with the way that the sport has currently evolved.”
New team has to “leverage” what F1 now has – Wolff
Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff highlighted the fact that whilst the opinion of the teams is being sought, ultimately they do not have a say in the process that is signed off by the FIA and Liberty Media.
Like Horner, though, Wolff feels a new team has to primarily bring added long-term value, and will not be a ‘here-today-gone-tomorrow’ operation as has been the case with many in the past.
“The opinion that we have expressed is that it’s very difficult in Formula 1 to perform,” said Wolff.
“It has taken us many years to be where we are. We’ve gone through really difficult times where Formula 1 wasn’t the blockbuster it is today.
“Therefore, whoever enters the sport, it would be beneficial for all of us if they can really bring something new to the show, if it can help us to increase our audiences, or if there are lots of marketing dollars being invested, similar to what we have done over the years – Red Bull and Mercedes, hundreds of millions.
“If that were the case, we need to be all open-minded and say ‘How can we contribute to making that happen?’
“I would very much hope that we find someone, if we decided to go for another team, and that somebody can really leverage what we have today and make it even greater.”Sign up here to receive our daily newsletters and breaking news alerts, sent straight to your inbox.
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