Grid, Hockenheimring, 2018

F1 not looking to expand beyond 10 teams in near future – Brawn

2020 F1 season

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Formula 1 has no short-term plans to add new teams to the series despite the interest some have shown, according to motorsport director Ross Brawn.

Speaking to RaceFans in an exclusive interview, Brawn said F1’s priority is to safeguard its existing line-up of 10 teams, some of which are under pressure due to the pandemic.

“For the moment everything is based around 10 teams and I don’t think in this climate we would be looking to add teams imminently,” said Brawn.

“You never know what’s around the corner and, of course, we’re creating a much more viable economic environment for the teams, so I’m sure people will now look at it in a different perspective than perhaps they looked at Formula 1 two or three years ago.

“But we have 10 teams, they’re great teams, we know some of them need some support and so we’re focussed on making putting those 10 teams in the best possible position.

“So I don’t think the question of extra teams is one that we’re focussed on at the moment.”

Last month Williams announced it has begun a formal process intended to attract new investment, potentially by attracting a buyer for one of the sport’s longest-running competitors.

“Williams are obviously in the spotlight at the moment,” said Brawn, who worked for the team during his spell in the sport.

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“There seems to be some, they tell us, very strong and credible interest. And we are optimistic they will continue.

“If we do lose a team then there will be an opportunity for another team to come in. But it needs to be the right team, we can’t have what happened in the past, teams coming and going because they just haven’t got strong enough foundations.”

Both F1 and the FIA would be involved in the recruitment process to ensure any new entries meet the desired standard, said Brawn.

“You’ve got the FIA from a regulatory perspective and Formula 1 from a commercial perspective. Both parties I think have to work together to find a good solution.

“As I say, we can’t have what happened in the past where we have a fringe of teams which are really not viable coming and going. I think once we consolidate where we are we can then properly look at what the next step is.”

Last year a potential new entry known as Panthera expressed interest in joining the Formula 1 grid.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 20 comments on “F1 not looking to expand beyond 10 teams in near future – Brawn”

    1. I’m not totally sure what I think of this. I’m still not convinced that Renault will commit long term, there’s all kinds of dealings with Aston Martin that doesn’t convince me that Mercedes will stay, Williams are in trouble, and I believe the Alfa Roméo deal expires next year. F1 is not healthy and I believe it’s better to grow the grid before losing teams.

      1. Before ‘growing the grid’ it is important that the 10 existing teams are (potentially) profitably. This will ensure that when an owner decides to call it quits he will sell the team as a going concern rather than just close the doors.
        With the new financial framework (and with a solid Concorde Agreement) F1 will be there, and teams might still be sold but no longer cease to exist.
        @broke84

        1. All teams are potentially profitable…
          Being profitable doesn’t actually mean competitive.
          Teams have been sold for the past 2 decades as running businesses, for the damn simple reason that setting up a new teams costs 50 million in sign on fee and for 2 years you don’t get a share of the prize money.

        2. @coldfly fair enough but I don’t think they should wait for teams to leave before saying they’ll accept new entrants. I also forgot about Haas. I really don’t see them staying. My crystal ball can also imagine alpha tauri going with redbull sponsoring Sauber like in days of old. No one should under estimate the after affects of this pandemic, 3 teams pulled the plug in 2009. I can imagine more next year.

    2. Good. A no-hoper team far adrift just makes F1 look bad.

      3 car option is a better solution if grid size increase is necessary.

      1. I’d rather see a 10th struggling team than an nth car added to the strongest team.
        People seem to forget that F1 is a team sport first and foremost. There are other (spec) series where many/all drive the same fast car.

        1. I agree 100% with ColdFly, I love the backgrid teams and normally they are far more interesting than the big ones. They don’t usually have many sponsors so they don’t have to be robots and pollitically hypercorrect. We don’t have Stoddarts, Mallyas, Bransons or Fernandes in the big teams (well, we had Briatore in Renault…)-

          The effort and dedication these teams make just to be there must be taken into account, and they create great stories (for example it is very interesting to read stories about how HRT could compete for almost 3 years with a budget that was basically 0 and being sold 2 times before even debuting)and with more teams on the track, there are more lapping, which usually make the races more interesting.

          In addition, I do not want cycling tactics in F1, there are already enough with what we have now since, in fact, the big teams have 4 cars on the track and some almost 6.

    3. In these times I don’t think F1 could find a genuine interest even with the budget cap in place. After the engine changes and things settle a bit hopefully a couple of new teams could be enticed.

    4. Michael Ward
      15th June 2020, 8:57

      Will F1 ever have a full grid again? it’s been 25 years of reduced grids already.

    5. Oh man… me and my billionaire buddies locked out of the paddock again. Guess we have to go buy more yachts and another fleet of Gulfstreams to buzz our fleet of yachts. That can get tiresome.

      Unlike Brawn stating the bleeding obvious. There is no interest from any billionaires or their corporate minions wanting to invest in F1 to become millionaires in a short time.

    6. F1 really needs a revolution.

      It has come so far from the 1970s when a privateer team could still take part and get the odd podium.

      Now we only have three teams who are capable of winning or even getting a podium – at the cost of around £300m (?) a year. These teams are so worried about things like team orders that they don’t even dare employ the best drivers. They just need one winner, and one that will do what they are told.

      Outside the chosen three drivers, others struggle in other cars that frankly stand no chance of doing better than 7th unless there is a massive accident or iunsual unreliability problem. And previous champions turn their back the sport.

      What a mess!

      Revolution please ! Everything needs to be reconsidered and debated.

      Yes we have had periods of domination by one manufacturer before – but never like this – do the stats and see.

      1. +1

        Don’t forget that F1 keeps losing viewers each year.
        It’s rotting from the inside out.

      2. Jose Lopes da Silva
        15th June 2020, 18:59

        “These teams are so worried about things like team orders that they don’t even dare employ the best drivers.”
        I agree and I would love that, bust we must acknowledge that the experiences of 1986, 1989 and 2007 do not make teams enthusiasmed by having two number one drivers. The more recent 2014-16 and 2019 don’t, neither.

        1. You are right…

          But that is why we need some radical revolutionary thinking. Here’s a crazy ideas:
          – drivers each drive each car in two races per year.

          Crazy I know – but it would make the championship about the driver, plus also all manufacturers would have the prestige of Hamilton/Vettel/Alonso/Verstappen driving their car. The best car would still win the constructors championship, the best driver would win the drivers championship.

          I know there are a many reasons why current thinking would oppose it – but we need radical solutions.

          1. This would be such a good idea, making the best with what you have, dragging a renault, toro rosso and such into the points to get what little advantage you can get on your competitors and then capitalizing on when, example, if you’re a top driver like leclerc, verstappen, hamilton, you have a ferrari and all other top drivers are on a midfield car.

            1. Damage limitation sounds interesting too, if your current top opponent is on a top 3 car and gets 5th in that race and you get 6th or 7th in a renault, it bodes well for you!

    7. David Ferriday
      15th June 2020, 10:25

      I read that as “several of our teams are on the brink and need financial support from us to survive, and we can’t handle doing the same for new teams”.

    8. Ross Brawn isn’t doing a great job as the elder statesman of F1 is he. We all know there are going to be world wide financial problems over the coming years, no one is going to rush into F1 with a new team, in fact it’s likely no one is going to buy Williams either. No company knows how the problems are going to affect them. I’ve just read BP are having problems, that means other fuel companies will have too and some of them sponsor F1 teams.

      “No plans to expand” Pah !!

    9. I guess we can take this as Brawn saying the the financial overhaul in regard to prize and commercial payment distribution wasn’t very successful, and further progress to make things more even was rejected by the existing teams.

      It’s no use using the 3 teams who entered F1 in 2010 as justification without also telling the full story about the budget cap they were promised at the time.
      It’s no surprise at all that those F1 teams died when F1 fails to pay out prize and commercial money to entrants for their first several years.

      F1 is fundamentally broken. Manufacturers are going elsewhere, not just because of the ridiculous financial requirements, but because the technical direction is a developmental dead-end and is largely useless to them.
      F1 is little more than an advertising medium now.

    10. Short sighted.
      The plan should always be for 12 teams.

    Comments are closed.