Formula 1 team bosses gave a cool reception to suggestions the grid could be expanded beyond its current 10 teams, with one suggesting it would just mean “more cars to lap”.
However principals from the top teams said the sport should focus on maintaining the current entry.
“It’s important that the starting grid looks complete and that for the live spectators that you see lots of cars going around the track,” said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.
“But I think we are in a decent place right now for Formula One and the value of the teams is more important, to keep those franchises limited to attract the best brands to enter or participate in existing teams. I think that is the most important thing.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said F1 should prioritise “quality over quantity”, and said recent attempts to expand the grid had been unsuccessful.
“We’ve got 10 teams that are in pretty decent health at the moment compared to previous years and I think that as we are seeing, when the grid is expanded, none of those teams that came in a few years ago are still here today.
[mpuzweeler01]”[In] Formula 1 the cost of entry is so high it’s virtually impossible unless you’re an OEM [original equipment manufacturer] or multi-multi-billionaire and sometime not even that’s enough.
“I think we’ve got a good balance at the moment. I would prefer that we look after what we’ve got and have good quality and a closer grid than just inviting more entries for the sake of filling the grid slots and being more cars to lap.”
However Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul was more receptive to the idea.
“What’s important is the number of teams that are competitive and can really directly contribute to the show and can pretend that they are expecting to win,” he said. “But if there is a business model which is sustainable for 12 competitive teams, I think that that should be what is looked at.”
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