Andretti must show his team would add value to F1, current bosses say

2022 F1 season

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Formula 1 team bosses have said Michael Andretti should only be allowed to join the series as a new entrant if he can show it would add value to the championship.

Last week the former F1 and IndyCar driver’s father, 1978 world champion Mario Andretti, revealed his son had approached the FIA to enter a new, 11th team in the 2024 season.

The development drew a cautious response from several team bosses in an FIA press conference during testing at the Circuit de Catalunya today.

Under the Concorde Agreement, the commercial terms under which F1 is organised, new entrants must pay a $200 million anti-dilution fee. However Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says Andretti must prove he can do more than simply afford to enter.

“Andretti is a name that for sure in the American market is important,” he said. “But every team that is joining needs to be accretive, that means needs to add value.

“It’s not only by paying a 200 million dollar entry fee, it needs to demonstrate, in my opinion, what it can do for the other teams, for Formula 1 and the FIA. Only then the sport will grow.”

F1 is “the absolute pinnacle” of motorsport, said Wolff. “This is the Champions League or the NFL. And redistributing franchises on the go, that’s not how it should be, and it’s not the intention of Formula 1 and the FIA either.

“But if there is a real brand coming in with good people, necessary funding, not only the 200 million, but probably you need more of a billion if you want to play in this club straight from the get go. And then why not?”

Andretti’s teams already compete in IndyCar, Formula E, Extreme E and other series. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said an application by Andretti to enter F1 would need careful consideration.

“I think it’s great that there’s the interest, for people wanting to enter Formula 1 and the Andretti name is certainly a powerful name in motorsport. And of course, they’re not the only ones that are making noises about coming on, but there is a clear criteria, through the Concorde Agreement, that be has to be met and approved.

“So I’m sure they’re engaged in that process. And of course, that agreement is there to protect the ten incumbents and not to dilute that. So obviously, that would need to be carefully looked at.”

The current teams would have to give their approval to an entry from Andretti, AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost added.

“We have 10 teams and I think 10 really good teams. And at the end, this is a decision from the FIA and from FOM. And you know, if Michael wants to come with a new team and if all the ingredients are coming together and if all the teams also accept it, then yes, otherwise, no.”

However, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said they “definitely would welcome the Andretti team” into F1.

“The Andretti name, a US team which will help to grow the sport further in the US, I think would also open up simply more possibilities again to get young drivers in, the more teams we have. And in the end, the earlier we get to 12 teams, which is the maximum we can have, I think it would just help to drive the franchise value even higher of us teams.

“So absolutely open for it, and I’d love to compete with them.”

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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47 comments on “Andretti must show his team would add value to F1, current bosses say”

  1. In summary, its simply about protecting the current 10 teams “worth”. lol.

    1. Though I appreciate Seidl’s take and spoken in a way of competition and sport. Which is what it should be. F1 is such a closed off series these days and it used to never be like that.

    2. In another summary, I read this as an indication that Andretti would be welcome if he brought another manufacturer to the mix – maybe an American, even if under a GM/Ford brand.

      1. The thing is, all evidence points to Renault as being the engine supplier. There was a photo between the head of Renault and Michael Andretti going around not long ago. So not really. GM/Ford will not be entering from the sounds of it.

    3. All great until the boardroom of a manufacturer decides that they are bored of F1, or it doesn’t align with their current direction (or other drivel), then what do they give to F1? 9 teams? Fear of mass exodus?
      The NFL and Champions League examples hold no water. Both are constantly trying to expand! Liberty should be looking for an 11th team and making a song a dance about how strong F1 is and how it can attract legendary names like Andretti (whilst using them as insurance against a manufacturer leaving in future!).

      1. Why on earth were the rules drawn up to allow current team bosses to have their say in such matters. It was so obviously a terrible idea and would lead to blocking shenanigans.

  2. Now that sounds arrogant and entitled!

    1. indeed!

    2. Indeed. You would say that the added value simply already lies in bringing 2 more cars to the grid. Appalling behavior and quite shocking these statements.

    3. He has proven tome and again to be arrogant and entitled.. no surprise there.

    4. I was about to agree with you, then I tried to remember all the recent teams that have tried to get into F1 or did compete. Where have they all gone. Before you mention Haas, I’ll just remind you that they were a very special entry. Were allowed much leway in sourcing their car parts. If that model is no longer available, then a new entrant can’t already be bankrupt immediately they get their entry approved.

      1. I never saw a problem in teams trying to becoming competitive;
        some stayed for a while, some where bought, some disappeared — that’s life

  3. Pathetic. “Pay me personally and make it worth my while after you already paid and we may allow you into our exclusive club”. The FIA should be in charge of the guest list and not the teams. Teams will of course not want more teams diluting the pot. But thats why teams should only follow the rules not make/decide them.

    1. It absolutely annoys me that teams have this much say and control over a competition. The maximum number of teams in F1 can be 12 active teams (currently 10), why wouldn’t seeking to maximize the grid be a goal to grow the sport? We all know the answer… its about greed! This VIP rich kids club mentality is not sporting! I agree @ryandixon, FIA should be in charge of the “guest list” and not the teams.

      1. the irony is the short-sightedness in their comments. Yes an increase in the number of teams equals a smaller slice of the pie, but the pie can increase – i.e. the American market. Nascar has been losing eyes for years, Indy is gaining momentum but doesn’t carry the cache of F1, a true American team would be phenomenal for the sport. Also, this could be the new Ford v. Ferrari in motorsport. Liberty would be outright stupid not to do everything in its power to bring Andretti (and other engine manufacturers) to the sport.

  4. Lewisham Milton
    23rd February 2022, 20:44

    A bloated, never-ending gravy train stuffed with entitled underacheivers who haven’t been champions of anything in living memory? Surely not.

  5. They are sounding – Seidl excluded – just like Agnelli and Perez speaking about the Super League model. Andretti has only to prove that he can build a safe chassis and a car that can qualify within the 107% rule. The modern standards and safety requirements put in place by the FIA are enough to prevent an Andrea Moda like entry.

  6. Another two drivers on the grid would definitely add value for me

  7. I wonder what “value” Haas brings to F1, just to name the last completely new entrant to the circus.

    I rather have Andretti than Haas, to be honest. A team that’s done very well in many categories, which a very sorted out structure, and one of the biggest names in motorsport.

    And I don’t see what’s different than outright buying a team and putting the Andretti name in the banners. What’s the difference in terms of the “values to bring” to the sport if Michel had succeded in his bid to buy Sauber?

    1. @fer-no65 The difference is 9% of each team’s revenue under the Concorde Agreement, because it would be distributed among 11 teams, not 10. Sigh…

      I’d love to see Andretti succeed at getting to F1 precisely because he’s chosen the hardest way to do it — to do it himself, independently, under his name. Not as a works team or controlled by other investors (which, if we take what he says at face value, is partly why the Alfa deal fell apart) and not as a means to market another business (like Haas and Red Bull). An Andretti team would be the closest thing we have in F1 to an old-school family-owned team, like Williams was. When you consider that that business model has gone extinct in the sport, I can understand the scepticism of the team principals (bar Seidl). But certainly, if the Andretti name isn’t enough to make it, no name will be.

  8. This is just early posturing so they can get a better deal when it comes time to add a new team

  9. The use of the word “franchise” to describe an f1 team makes me nearly vomit in my mouth.

    Teams have far too much power now in protecting their VIP clubs. Seidls comments aside which seemed to be about the sporting side of it all, most of the teams will veto a new team as it has the possibility of taking money away from them

    1. Why are you surprised when Liberty Media have said that they want to turn the sport into a franchise based system? The commercial rights holder wants to structure the sport in that way and has encouraged the teams to think of themselves as franchises.

  10. Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Alpine undoubtedly are ‘worthy’ for what they are and have been. Williams has ‘value’ for its name and history if not its current form, and maybe Aston Martin as well if they stick at it and build up as an independent force.

    The rest? Alpha Tauri is a B-team named after a hilariously overpriced clothing brand, Haas is still a strange hybrid of itself, Dallara and Ferrari, and Saubalfa just seems to exist in a permanent state of mediocrity with little real purpose. Like Williams have lately, admittedly, but without the glittering history.

    Unless it turned up with a milkfloat and permanently locked out the back row, I’d have a hard time saying a team carrying the Andretti name and history was less valuable than those three.

  11. There’s a way Andretti could put this one to bed and probably get the red carpet treatment, get a second big name involved. If Andretti says he’s bringing Ford or BMW, just for example, even if it’s in a hands-off roll like Aston Martin it would turn a lot of heads.

    Then again, maybe I just want Ford back real bad and I’m inventing paths for them.

    1. Ford is getting out of the passenger car business here in the US. Why would they get into F1?

      The hypocrisy of the F1 teams is just … mind boggling. If Andretti can pay the fees why not let him in? Haas et al don’t add value to F1; Andretti, just because of the name, would at least add interest. If they don’t succeed then they fail and lose their $200 million entry fee. Pretty simple.

    2. we all want FORD back :)

    3. Ford designing a hybrid engine eeuuh Look at Indycars there you have Honda and Chrysler and have a kind of hybrid who is close to the F1 ones. If they would select Chrysler they could put it off but even they would go for 2026 not 2024.

  12. Ridiculous that the other teams are even a factor in this process. Get out of here with that nonsense. If the team can meet their dumb financial requirement, that is the end of that conversation.

  13. Teams should not have any say in this. They already have way too much say in things and quite frankly it is not benefitting the sport at all. The organiser sets the rules. Dont like them? Then dont participate. Surely an advisory role for an organised collective board of participants is smart, but should never go farther than ‘your remarks are duly noted’

  14. I think that F1 and the FIA being reluctant to entries is definitely a way of driving up the value of not only the current teams, but future entries.
    They may be aiming for a situation in the near future where these 2 new entries (to complete 12 teams which seems like the right maximum) are so highly in demand from various parties that they can hold an auction for these two “franchises.”
    I see similarities with where F1 could head if expansion happened to the recent expansion of the Indian Premier League cricket, where two new franchises were auctioned off at crazy prices.

    1. Yeah, but at some price it just doesn’t make sense. At $200 million it’s a reach; at $400 million no one will bid. And that’s just the entry fee. Add in facilities, staff, drivers, etc. and you’re looking at $1,000 million just to play. Sure, that’s chump change to all of us, but how do you make a business case for that? Looks like a monopoly scheme to me. Perhaps the EU might get involved…..

  15. The anti-dilution fee is now considerably more than the annual budget allowed for any team. The overall TV money won’t change, but the budgets for the teams have dropped drastically.

    You are literally whining about money you can no longer spend.

    Stop pretending your Concorde agreement is worth half a billion dollars a year, and bring in some new teams.

    1. Money you can’t spend = profit.

  16. Impartial observers for the most part accept that more teams are needed. F1 should not be a closed shop.

  17. I don’t expect to see any net new teams under the current terms of the Concorde agreement. It’s possible that Andretti will buy Haas but will have to bid against the Russian.

  18. It took BAR (the current Mercedes team) 6 years before they ‘proved their worth’ in F1. And Toto himself bought his way into F1. F1 being a closed shop, and teams even having a say on this is such a terrible idea. They just dont want to share out anymore of the prize money, thats literally all it is.

  19. So sad, a competition where people do not wish to have someone to compete with. You bunch of hypocrites and cowards from F1. New teams add value to the competition as a whole, to your organizations too. All you have to do is just make sure it’s a sound investment with serious people behind it, but no, some rando Williams owner we never heard of says Andretti family doesn’t add value to the racing world.

  20. Too bad they don’t have the same attitude when it comes to new tracks.

  21. So much rhetoric by posters here regarding the “arrogant” teams’ power over who can enter F1 and who can’t that it has me wondering if in fact the bulk of the power lies with FIA and FOM, and perhaps once they vet a new entrant and everything is looking promising, perhaps by that time the 10 teams will be encouraged to agree to let them in. I really doubt it is the case that is being portrayed by many above that it is mainly up to the teams to decide, for why would they ever allow a new competitor in then? And yet the teams themselves talk about how a little bigger grid would be good for F1.

    No, something tells me the teams don’t have as much power in this type of decision than many are claiming in posts above. If TW or CH sound from their quotes above like they personally need to see the value in a new entrant or they’ll say no, they could easily actually mean by ‘they’ that FIA, FOM, and the teams collectively need to see the value. I really doubt FIA and FOM are letting the foxes run the hen house still, like BE did with the top 4 teams when he had made F1 all about a money grab between himself and CVC. I mean, to me anyway, if it was up to the teams themselves, of course they would never say yes to any proposed new entrant. But that is not the direction F1 is looking to go.

  22. That was Totospeak for “We’d rather have Porsche.”
    A bit arrogant, but then again he has achieved a lot with Mercedes, and is a shareholder of the team. He can trash-talk all the Andrettis.

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