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F1 sees “no pressing need” to add 11th team as Andretti bids to join grid

2022 F1 season

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The president of Formula 1 owner Liberty Media says current 10 teams are “locked in” to their places on the grid and he isn’t planning to increase their number.

Greg Maffei made the comments as Mario Andretti and son Michael continued to lobby teams to support their efforts to enter F1.

The last newcomer to the grid was American team Haas in 2016. Rivals Manor collapsed at the beginning of 2017, leaving just 10 teams on the grid.

Maffei said the value of those teams has increased since Liberty “created them as franchises” following their takeover of F1.

“Historically there had been as many as 15 or 20 teams on the grid,” he told Bloomberg. “It got down to 10 right when we entered the sport.

“Manor, which was the 11th team, went into receivership in the UK, went into bankruptcy and got sold for a pound.

“Now the bottom team, because they’re all locked in as franchises, is worth $400 million minimum, maybe more. And I think you’re seeing numbers discussed as much as $1 billion for a team or $2 billion for a team. That attracted investment, that attracted interest.”

Maffei indicated any increase in the number of teams is not likely to happen soon. “There is a potential that we may increase the teams over time,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a pressing need.

“There are a lot of people who would like us to do it. Most of them want to buy in, but we haven’t we have not felt that need.”

He claimed adding teams could present logistical complications at some venues. “In some cases are actually problems,” he said.

“The paddocks, the garages, there’s some places that really don’t have more than 10 garages. So their challenge is literally around the the dynamics of putting an 11th team on the track.”

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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...

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42 comments on “F1 sees “no pressing need” to add 11th team as Andretti bids to join grid”

  1. Interesting…I’d always thought F1 was trying to get back to 12 teams and a 24 car grid, although with the traffic jams that appear in Q1 at some venues, that might present some difficulties on track, let along in the garages.

    1. Q1 traffic jams is certainly an issue but the much bigger issue is if the 11th team will add value ($$$) to the other teams value/pockets in the long run. The current teams all have a stake in F1 and to a degree percentage of ownership, and reaping/sharing of the annual profits (most important).
      When adding another team, those teams will virtually be giving up to 10% of the seasons shares of income from F1 and ownership when a new team enters the group. That is not a problem if the 11th team can bring in more money to the other teams and adds long term popularity to F1 (the key is longterm), hence more value to their own teams and more $$$.
      The 10 teams do not want another HRT or Manor, they instead want a very serious contender that impresses the other teams and who can also prove on paper their financial might (most important) that is similar to current team levels and prove they have the cash (not just say they’ll have it) to operate at a competitive level for several seasons, pay salaries, afford facilities & testing and bring enough parts and upgrades to the races. This is a significant factor and probably requires $1B+ in the bank that’s available. I’m fairly sure Andretti does not have this or is willing to prove it. If he can, then I don’t think the other teams would be so resistant.

      You have to pay to play and I don’t think Andretti has proven this yet to the level the other teams are looking for. Just wanting to start racing and showing up with a car to try to compete in a season like the old days is no longer enough in F1, they’ve already seen that show and don’t want the reruns of it. Having said all that, I do hope Andretti can pull it off.

    2. Couple of thoughts…
      1… they want the next team to be a big car brand… Porsche… Andretti MS isn’t cool enough for them…

      2… the excuse of not enough garages, etc… is rubbish

      3… in spite of a desire to grow F1in the US, they are making a HUGE mistake in ignoring the Godfather of US racing, Mario Andretti… an F1 champion himself…

      4… F1 is being SO F1 in their decision to not embrace the Andretti team…and it will cost them in the end… every foray into the US has ultimately failed for ONE reason, F1 is NOT viewed as an American sport… because it lacks the necessary teams for Americans to get behind… only so many in the US will embrace a sport viewed as not really impacting America.

      5… Indycar is the better series for most Americans… I follow both, but if push came to shove, I’d choose Indycar.

      The leadership of F1 needs to understand that if you want Americans to embrace you, we have to have some skin in the game… and Haas ain’t that… NOT a single US driver in their history… that means they aren’t an American team.

  2. But that Panthera team would have been good enough just before covid? Come on, this makes no sense, I hope someone finds out soon what’s really behind the current push back against having more teams.

    1. @hunocsi Present teams (or at least some) fear about prize money share, this is the true motive against having more teams.

  3. Enough space in the pit lanes for 12 teams like in 2010-2012, but understandable.
    I wouldn’t mind an extra team, although neither do I definitively wish for more as I’ve been happy with 10. BTW, did Manor actually get sold for a pound? I don’t recall such a low sum.

  4. “Manor, which was the 11th team, went into receivership in the UK, went into bankruptcy and got sold for a pound”

    They also gave Ocon and Bianchi their debuts in F1. HRT gave Ricciardo his.

  5. This perspective baffles me. Surely a new team can only be good for the sport. We keep hearing how F1 needs a female driver, or a more racially diverse grid, or an American driver. Heck, the F2 champion can’t even land a seat. Surely a small step in the right direction is having more seats available. As long as the new entry is at least as competitive as the current backmarkers (loose term this season) surely it can only be positive. The Andretti name would be great to see on the grid and I get the feeling they’d be all in to get results rather than trundling around as a marketing exercise.

  6. A new US team will need to bring an American manufacturer or some sort of massive institutional sponsorship.

  7. Chris Horton
    10th May 2022, 13:22

    The fact of the matter is they’ve made it a closed shop. They only want who they want and that will be another manufacturer.

  8. The president of Formula 1 owner Liberty Media says current 10 teams are “locked in” to their places on the grid and he isn’t planning to increase their number.

    With all of the teams corporate owned or about to be controlled by that’s that isn’t? F1 was always a good marketing tool for the manufacturers, but there was still an aspect of individuality innovation rebellion. Now with Williams arguably the last of the independent teams gone. Marketing will become the primary goal, the tech will become less important than the hype.
    Once the 2026 rules become more public we’ll get a better picture of where ‘F1’ is heading.

  9. It’s not looking good for Andretti at the moment is it?

    I would like to see them get to the grid and if they have the money, the right tools and the know how they will get there

    1. It could just be that this is part of Andretti (and Alpine) arguing / pleading / pushing for the delution fee being dropped since at it’s introduction there were words about possibly doing so for any really worthwhile team etc, and Alpine having huge interest (they badly need a second team to fuel development) and Andretti surely arguing both with US interest and his own historic name being a very good argument for admitting them in.

      On the other hand, the teams nore Liberty are fine with letting go of that money.

    2. The Dolphins
      10th May 2022, 14:36

      the money

      That’s the only thing that matters at the moment. Liberty is really turning up the scarcity to inflate the price for a new “franchise” as they like to refer to teams. It’s really unfortunate because as others have noted there are many good drivers who cannot get a seat in F1 due to a lack of space; not even being a part of a team’s junior driver program can get you a race seat. The organic way to solve this problem is to lower the barrier of entry (obviously not what Liberty want) and the artificial way is to give teams some incentive to bring up junior drivers through means like a “rookie champion” with some prize money associated.

  10. Didn’t Renault want to set up a brand new satellite team? Perhaps these bids are further in the works then we know. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’d see a Renault team that uses the Alpine chassis of the prior year.

    1. The Dolphins
      10th May 2022, 14:42

      Perhaps they are. Given VW’s interest in joining F1 as a power unit supplier maybe they are looking for an option as a works team in the future. Obviously all speculation on our part but it goes to show that if a manufacturer with deep pockets wanted something like this it’s obvious that a private entry like Andretti could not compete on a global marketing and branding recognition level.

    2. Andretti has a deal with Renault for their engines if they are allowed to enter.

  11. Is F1 the only racing series in the world that doesn’t want to fill the grid?

  12. F1 is falling all over themselves to expand into the US and they are giving Andretti a stiff-arm? Andretti, a household name in the US and a proven racing organization? They should be giving Andretti a discount on the fees. I guess they think that football helmets and packing the grid walk with US celebrities will be enough. I don’t get it.

    1. Agree. This is baffling to me. I wonder if this has something to do with his stint in ’93?

    2. … but they already have with DTS. The US market is basic marketing so the TV show has been good enough. And most have zero understanding of the Andretti family legacy, they might know the name, but I don’t think they’re going to drive the US numbers they think it will. Not like the shiny 10 episodes of manufactured TV drama is and will continue to do.

  13. I’m strongly, and I mean strongly in favour of expanding the grid. I’d like to see a minimum of 26 cars. I used to love watching the minnows on the grid in the 80s and 90s, followed them and loved when they did well. Of course, we need to weed out the shysters and make sure that the teams are reasonably viable…

    If a team is professional enough to survive in F1 and wants to commit, then they should be welcomed.

  14. So you want to say that you can approve a race, build a new track and hold that race all within a few months (Saudi rings a bell), but you can’t build a garage? It’s easy when all these interviews are being hosted by your own journalists. It’d be nice seeing an actual conversation for a change.

  15. Mark in Florida
    10th May 2022, 17:06

    This is all about the prize money. Toto doesn’t want to have any new teams involved and many other team principles think the same way. Why cut the pie into smaller slices? Liberty wants to break into the US market but they don’t want to break into the established teams prize money. As of now it’s a good ole boys club, outsiders are not welcome here. If they wanted to be profitable long term they should have a franchise setup like the NFL. Minimum participation payouts for all teams to keep everyone in the game. That way even back markers are profitable and would sell on the open market for more than a pound.

  16. Broccoliface
    10th May 2022, 18:44

    I guess to get the teams to let go of various privileges etc for the new Concorde agreement, liberty probably had to have their backs in regards to the new prize money structure. Firstly putting up the massive entry fee, and now someone actually is willing to pay it, they’ll simply just have to say no. To do otherwise will show teams they’ve been manipulated during the previous negotiations and leave them reticent to budge over anything in the future.

  17. It is way too difficult for a team to get on the grid anyway in F1. If Andretti can provide two cars for the first Grand Prix of the year they should be allowed on the grid. And if they turn up and are terrible, does that really matter? I don’t see how having a bad team lessens Formula 1 in any way. It was amazing when Jules Bianchi finished 9th for Marussia in Monaco 2014, and apart from Caterham fans I can’t imagine anyone not being overjoyed with that result, so it gives the fans a team who everyone gets behind. It would be even better if there was two bad teams because you get the battle of the minnows, like Marussia and Caterham a decade ago (and even better if HRT can be added to the mix as well). But as it happens I don’t think Andretti would be the new Manor Marussia anyway.

    The only reason not to is prize money (building the extra garages would be nothing considering how much money Formula 1 has), and unless I’m very much mistaken Bernie Ecclestone didn’t even give prize money to the 11th team, so that is an option if Liberty feel like being stingy (considering how much money they have they don’t need to do this anyway).

    It is ridiculous how difficult it is for a new team to join the grid, and Formula 1 should be doing more to make it easier, not saying ‘it won’t add value to the sport’ because it will.

  18. Subtext – The existing teams and Liberty Media don’t want to split revenue with an additional team.

  19. I would be very interested to know which venues would need pit lane alterations to handle and extra 2 cars. That seems to be a feeble excuse. If Andretti joined, the pie would be cut into more pieces, but the pie itself would surely be made much bigger. Very conservative thinking from Liberty, or maybe they know something we don’t, hidden beneath the hype of F1 taking off in the USA. I am disappointed.

    1. Typo: “an extra 2 cars.”

    2. Luke S (@joeypropane)
      10th May 2022, 20:36

      So this all but confirms that if Porsche and Audi entered F1, it’d be doing so via taking over existing teams…

      1. Ofcourse not those are manufactors i think that is why Andretti will be blocked as both enter with their teams there are 12 teams so andretti would make 13th i think that is the reason.

  20. 24 should be the minimum

  21. Twenty cars is an incredibly lame grid and now they choose this? Lol. They should aim for 24-28.

    Motor racing is a circus. The show is in one place at a time. This isn’t the NFL where there are player allocation issues and sixteen games in sixteen different cities each weekend.

    Anyone can show up to an IndyCar race or a NASCAR race and compete within the rules if they are fast enough. F1 shouldn’t be any different? Spitting on Mario is an awful look in this country and I suspect there will be fallout with fans and sponsors in the USA if they are denied for greed and greed alone.

  22. 20 cars is pathetically small.

  23. The paddocks, the garages, there’s some places that really don’t have more than 10 garages

    wow, such big unsurmuntable challenge… if only people were able to build… buildings… too bad it’s so hard

  24. Neil (@neilosjames)
    10th May 2022, 22:48

    I thought one of the requirements for a Grade 1 licence was a certain number of pit garages… enough to take at least 12, possibly 13 teams. Maybe Monaco doesn’t have that many (I know it gets let off a few things that would stop other tracks getting a licence), but I can’t see anywhere else struggling.

    1. Monaco had enough pits when there were 13 teams less than a decade ago

  25. Hopefully Liberty at some point will sell their circus to a party that embraces motorsport.

  26. Liberty media was a mistake. Change my mind.

  27. Sam Crawford
    11th May 2022, 9:13

    The garage thing he claims is a red herring, every circuit that F1 currently races at has more than 20 garages.

    The fact of the matter is this, F1 is an exclusive club, and that exclusivity has a price. The teams aren’t backing down on the prize money share and Liberty aren’t backing down on the anti dilution fees and entry cost.

    Andretti is the most plausible new team we’ve seen in a while, they are a huge name in Motorsport, based in the US and can and will bring a big name star in Herta to the grid. There is now downside to any of this, apart from the fact that they’ll get a slice of the pie if they get in, but the greedy people running the show aren’t willing to give up anything, and neither are the teams

  28. I hate seeing this kind of attitude from the sport – new teams should be encouraged and LM are trying to create something that will be the downfall of the sport. Another financial crisis and this bubble will burst big-time – $400m for a back-of-the-grid team, what a joke.

    The prize money should never have been split like that anyway, it’s created the issue – split it to include 13 teams and use absent-teams money to invest in grass-roots motorsport until we have 13 teams. That would remove the excuse.

    More teams means more on-track action, more battles, more interest. Even a ‘dull’ race will have more to it. The previous teams entering (Virgin, Caterham, Manor) all had an impossible task given the costs involved (no cost cap, $30m budget vs $400m+), but now is a different story. Give other teams a chance.

    I’d much rather see Porsche, Audi and Andretti on the grid as new teams than taking over existing ones.

  29. This stance is infuriating. FFS.

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