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Domenicali sees no need for Andretti or other new team to join F1

2022 F1 season

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Formula 1 doesn’t need Andretti or another new 11th team entering the sport, CEO Stefano Domenicali believes.

While Michael Andretti’s group has declared its interest in entering the championship, Domenicali said this is only one of several potential entrants looking to join. However the sport’s CEO believes it does not need to expand beyond its current 10 teams.

“It is not a problem of quantity where we can see a step of increasing the value of Formula 1,” explained Domenicali, who said Andretti had lobbied more publicly than other aspiring entrants.

“It is a matter of understanding really not only the one that has a bigger or louder voice, but there will be other people. Andretti was quite vocal about his request, but there are others that have done the same in a different way.

“The evaluation is not only with Andretti. The evaluation is with others that are respecting the silence on trying to be more productive on proving who they are and respecting the protocol we [have] put in place.

“I do believe, as I’ve always said, that I don’t believe that is today the problem of having more teams that will give more value to the championship. But there is a protocol that has to be fulfilled and everyone, Andretti included, is following that. So this is the situation today.”

Any new entrant which comes in would have to be committed for the long-term, said Domenicali.

“Today we are talking about the new regulations [for] 2026 and all the manufacturers involved in that – the incumbents or there may be a new one, we will see – are saying that the time is running very quickly. Four years to do another power unit.

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“We need to be prudent because when we’re talking about Formula 1, we need to have an entity or a team or a manufacturer that [is] really solid, is really strong and has a full commitment for an incredible long-term future.”

“But as I said today, I don’t see honestly the need of that increase to have a big benefit for the sport of Formula 1,” he added.

Domenicali does not believe the sport risks leaving itself vulnerable by failing to expand beyond its current 10 teams. He compared the situation to the demand for places on the F1 calendar.

“More people want to enter, by far, than people that want to leave,” he said. “And this is a good point.”

Any current teams which run into trouble know there are other potential entrants available to co-operate with, said Domenicali.

“Formula 1 today requires an incredible level of professional[ism] and investments,” he explained. “Not only for one year, but in the long-term. There is the interest of a lot of manufacturers, but also a lot of teams, the actual ones can discuss and commercialise and negotiate with them if they feel they are weak or they have no future for them.

“So I think is also another value for the ones that are here, knowing that around them there are manufacturers or other teams that wants to be in the business. So it’s a fact that will, in my opinion, of course, reinforce the value of Formula 1.”

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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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  • 65 comments on “Domenicali sees no need for Andretti or other new team to join F1”

    1. Yes, his thinking (on behalf of Liberty) is exactly the same rationale as most F1 teams – why split the pot with another entity when you don’t have to.

      Whether it would be better for future proofing, better for fans (new USA fans might flock in, or other fans depending on where the entity comes from), better for competition since you get more teams fighting over the results, better for up and coming drivers, since there will be more seats to fill?

      Off course an entrant would have to get in for the long term – given they invest at least a billion up front, and most likely another billion over the following 3-5 years it would be completely bonkers for anyone NOT to want to be there for the long run.

      I am certain that if a new entrant would have to pay Liberty to be able to enter the sport (and Liberty would be able to keep this money for themselves) they would be wildly in favour and looking at creating 12th and more garages to get new teams filling them.

      1. Coventry Climax
        25th August 2022, 19:46

        I could not agree more with you.
        Todt, Britches, Broawn, Dementicali, what an utter mess F1 has become.

    2. Though yes I can agree Andretti has been quite vocal (or loud as Domenicali chooses to put it) about his entry, that’s not the actual reason many consider it a solid entry, it’s more to do of course with his family’s racing pedigree in motorsports, including in F1.

      Have to say, it’s sort of interesting to read these bits for a Domenicali interview, but it certainly doesn’t fill me with trust in Liberty’s view of the sport.

      1. If Domenicali is the one saying this how come the Andrettis were setting up a lynch mob on Wolff.
        Perhaps there will be a belated “and…”

    3. Would love to see more teams – weather they have long term aspirations or one race aspirations, run one or two cars. 20 is too little.

      1. I’d rather have more teams than more races, so once again I disagree with Domenicali.

        I can only think he expects a team to pull out in the near future (Mercedes?), so wants Andretti to be desperately waiting to take up that slot when it comes.

    4. Many commentators on this site take a bit of a conservative stance whereby they object to most changes. As an example of how I do not think this is being conservative for the sake of being conservative, but rather than attempt to keep the sport good, I predict most people on here will be in favour of Andretti entering. I know I am.

    5. I find it hard to come up with reasons as to why it would be bad to have more teams. Apart from less money (in the short term) to the current lot, of course. They act like it was NFL or similar where adding a new team would create a whole lot of schedule problems.

      Having new teams would give the possibility of closer competition and more variety. Possibility of more on-track action and drama. Possibility of more talents (engineering, team leading and driver side). More jobs.

      1. I find it hard to come up with reasons as to why it would be bad to have more teams.

        It devalues the existing teams, all of which have contracts with the company Mr Domenicali is in charge of running.

        1. This is an interesting comment. It make me think what does F1 think it is that makes this behaviour politically, morally and possibly legally acceptable?

          In the age of cultural equity, equal opportunities etc you would think F1 would like to be seen as a shining example of sport or business.

          In fact what is F1? a sport or a business?

          If its a sport than there should only be a nominal entry fee to cover costs. An anti dilution payment is the opposite of what sport is about. Anyone should be free to enter. Safety might be a concern, so a 107% rule should be part of the solution.

          If its a business isn’t the anti dilution fee essentially part of a protection racket. This is morally indefensible and possibly illegal. I must be wrong… Someone enlighten me.

          The Ghost of Bernie still wanders the pit lane on those dark nights I think.

          1. There are 10 existing teams. Anyone wanting into F1 can try to buy one of them.

          2. F1 already lost it’s core value. Now it is just merely business. Commercial sport

        2. Coventry Climax
          25th August 2022, 19:52

          How on earth can having more teams devaluate the other, existing teams?
          If there were only two teams, you could only beat one. If there’s 30 teams you get the chance to beat 29.
          I know what victory I feel is more valuable.

          1. How on earth can having more teams devaluate the other, existing teams

            (1) more options for interested parties decreases the price of any transaction agreed

            (2) showing a clear path for a new team to join puts a ceiling on the value of all existing teams as interested parties could follow said path instead of buying an existing entry

            1. Coventry Climax
              29th August 2022, 1:05

              Brown Bull

    6. All the comments today from the boss, huh

    7. Stefano, I have always liked you as either a team boss, or in your new current role. You always used to give very honest interviews.

      Unfortunately this is not one of them.

      F1 has never been a closed sport/group. NEVER. Throughout the history of the sport teams have come and gone, and there are only a couple that have lasted the test of time (and money) There are multiple teams in your current formula that are literally only there because of Billionaires using it as a playground. And without those Billionaires the sport would have already collapsed. Do you think they will always be there? Its the same with manufacturers. They come and go depending on the current fiscal climate.

      This is a “the teams don’t want to share any of the pot” problem. nothing more, nothing less.

      What we (the fans) want…….. is racers and race-teams. And if you don’t think Andretti motorsport is one of them, then you all need to give your heads a wobble!!!!

      1. This is a “the teams don’t want to share any of the pot” problem. nothing more, nothing less.

        It’s a ‘the cost of entry is way to low compared to the value of current entries’ problem.

        Just remember: Mr Andretti had the opportunity to buy a large part of Sauber from Mr Rausing but baulked at the price of that transaction.

        Liberty is correct in pointing anyone wanting to join the circus towards buying the existing teams.

        1. No, he baulked because the old owner wanted a say in almost everything after the sale.

          1. The current owner was staying on as a part owner and made clear that buying a part of Sauber to gain control of an F1 entry while shutting down Sauber Engineering and putting hundreds of people out of work was not an option.

      2. With the way things are going, Formula 1 could turn into the pinnacle of exclusivity. Many of the sport leagues are at the top because everyone wants to join them, be a part of it, and there are possibilities to enter for those that are willing to put the effort and show that they have the performance.

        It feels like F1 is drifting apart from the rest and isolating itself to a point where it might become questionable if it is the pinnacle of the sport. Luckily budget and technology is still supporting the narrative, but the lack of testing, new entrants, the weight of experience is preventing to have more teams and ultimately more drivers showing what they are capable of (or not) in a F1 car. I am getting doubtful that we will have the best drivers on the grid in 5 years with the current structure where experience is valued so much rather than potential because the learning curve is tough and it takes time to unlock this potential, and there is no more training group. Even more true that the current regulation are unlike anything else and F1 is a very different platform to anything else. Even smaller teams need experienced drivers either for development or to get as much points as they can with little fresh blood coming in.

        To link with another article, if anything needs to be changed in how weekends are structured, just reduce practice for main drivers. Have same number of sessions but with test drivers, that way they can be proven and eventually make it to the main draft. Cars would still be optimized and drivers would have to showcase their skills and quick learning.

    8. Having an additional team would mean there would be an additional 10% action on track.

      It would only be a good thing, and Liberty should be jumping on the opportunity to have a team with as much competence as Andretti.

      1. Coventry Climax
        25th August 2022, 20:03

        Although I agree with the basic idea of what you’re saying, it is not true:
        1 team extra when there’s now 10, means running 11 teams: 1/11 is 9,1%
        Keep this up and there’s the law of diminishing return:
        1 team extra when there’s now 11, means running 12 teams: 1/12 is 8,3%
        1 team extra when there’s now 18, means running 19 teams: 1/19 is 5,3%

        So, there is a point where one team more or less doesn’t matter all that much.
        But we have not reached that point yet by a long, long stretch.

        1. You’re both wrong. it would be more than 10% more action (assuming the new team wasn’t miles behind).
          If we had 10 cars instead of 20, there would be virtually no battling between them. So halfing the field would reduce the action by a lot more than 50%. And the same goes the other way.
          This is why they need more than 10 teams – to provide resilience against a couple of teams leaving, which would seriously damage the show. They’d then have to consider 3 car teams to fix this, which would increase costs, driving the others out too.

          Such a short sighted attitude, what is wrong with the guy. Does he not realise he doesn’t work for any of the teams anymore?

          1. To clarify the maths in my theory, if we had 40 cars, each would have 39 cars to battle with rather than 19, so the number of battles would go up exponentially. Because there would be more cars, and each of those cars would spend more time battling.

            1. Coventry Climax
              26th August 2022, 2:51

              You should look up the term exponentially, I’m afraid.
              And learn to read:

              So, there is a point where one team more or less doesn’t matter all that much.
              But we have not reached that point yet by a long, long stretch.

              See? There’s nothing much we don’t agree upon. Apart from you math skills, that is.

            2. I’m trying to reply to Coventry Climax’s reply but there’s no button below it.

              The internet and the world don’t seem to understand exponentiality, but I do. Please (learn to) read my 2nd message again.

              To elaborate, if the number of cars doubled, then each of those cars would have double the number of cars to battle against. So the number of driver combinations that can battle would be (nigh on) quadrupled. 2 squared is 4. Exponentiality.

            3. Coventry Climax
              29th August 2022, 1:11

              Ah, so the term ‘exponentially’ is just a meaning now? Like Trump, saying science is just a meaning?
              Must have been a sad moment, discovering the world and internet do not understand you.
              Your second remark actually clarifies your theory on math, not the other way round.

        2. You can’t look at a new driver or team as completely simplified mathematical equation, some drivers will develop more ‘action’ than others. For instance, in the past you can look at Jarno Trulli, he created more ‘action’ than most other drivers, he had more discussion surrounding him, he had entire teams desperately making strategy changes based on his presence than any other driver in the field. He wasn’t even a contender for the WDC and wasn’t ever in a top team, but you’d have to weight his influence on race results much, much higher than most of his contemporaries.

          If a new team came in with a different ethos and had a couple of outlier behaviour drivers, they could create much more ‘action’ and really impact a race.

    9. Multiple articles from Domenicali today and I can’t say I’ve read a single quote from him that I even vaguely agree with…. I’m sure there must be something buried in one of the articles somewhere!

      1. Coventry Climax
        25th August 2022, 20:05

        That’s what happens with demented people; you’ll have to wait for one of their more lucid days.

    10. I am not certain I understand what Domenicali is saying; some of the sentences are rather awkward. That said, his claim is that “we need to have an entity or a team or a manufacturer that [is] really solid, is really strong and has a full commitment for an incredible long-term future.”

      How is that true for Williams, which is barely getting by, or Alpha Tauri, which is wholly dependent on Red Bull, or Haas, which relies on Dallara and Ferrari to run its team, or even Sauber/Alfa Romeo, which hasn’t shown any signs of being competitive since the split with BMW almost 15 years ago.

      As others have said, F1 is a big moneymaker for the teams, even those who are uncompetitive. There’s no desire to share the spoils. The FIA should step in here, it’s in the interest of motorsport that F1 remains open to entries, especially non-European ones.

      1. I take a contrary view. I’m not interested in Formula 1 moving away from it’s European roots. It’s bad enough that some of the classic venues are either already off the calendar or are at serious risk, in favour of rubbish street circuits with no character and aren’t loved by the drivers either.

        1. But that’s largely on the FOM/teams, not an issue with the world outside Europe.

          When F1 made it clear they wanted purpose-built tracks, F1 got some pretty good tracks in Malaysia, Bahrain, communist China, Turkey and India. These aren’t necessary classics to rival Spa-Francorchamps or Suzuka, but they’ve produced their share of good races and have some memorable sections and corners. F1 then changed their wishlist, and the countries wanting to join instead made street tracks: Singapore, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, and the USA. Korea and Abu Dhabi fell in between the two.

          The world’s largest car manufacturers aren’t all from Europe either, the likes of Toyota, Hyundai, General Motors, Ford, Nissan, SAIC etc. might all be tempted to participate in F1 if it wasn’t currently such a poor sell to any sensible leadership team; the costs in F1 are still far too high.

    11. If (or more likely when) F1 struggles in future to retain teams, saying “we don’t need you” to the likes of Andretti will come back to bite FoM hard.

    12. “We need to be prudent because when we’re talking about Formula 1, we need to have an entity or a team or a manufacturer that [is] really solid, is really strong and has a full commitment for an incredible long-term future.”

      But it’s ok to have venture capital funds buy teams to sell them again a few years later, or have billionaires buy teams for their uncompetitive sons to drive.

      I can’t think of any family that has made such a multigenerational impact on motorsport than the Andrettis. They totally deserve a spot.

    13. Anything less than 26 cars is an incomplete grid.
      There should be 30 really to make qualifying more exciting.

    14. All the words coming out of Domenicali‘s mouth the last couple of days are so far removed from someone who loves pure racing and the F1 as a sport. He is puppet in the big Liberty circus. All I hear is money talking. Dear Liberty, what F1 needs is passionate people like Frank Williams, Ken Tyrell etc. Not consortium’s treating teams like a business model. It needs tracks like Spa not countries trying to white wash human rights etc. The value of more teams is creating more opportunities for engineers, designers, drivers etc – passionate people you might need one day when you do fall on hard times – and with the current direction you are taking F1 – that can’t come soon enough.

        1. Coventry Climax
          25th August 2022, 20:08

          +2

    15. Form what we read today from him, I’m okay with this one. Personally I’d like to have an extra team. But in reality, we come from a time where the struggling teams went belly up. That’s really bad for F1 and all involved. Team value has gone up, which is great. I can see why they might be hesitant..

      1. A big reason we went from 35+ cars down to 20 was because Bernie paid virtually zero prize money to any team outside the top 10, and wouldn’t pay for and organise their flights.

    16. The problem seems to be that due to the changes in the payment system, teams are afraid to give up a portion of the prize money they receive.

      In the past only the top 10 teams (in 2 of 3 years) got prize money and now all teams get prize money.

      What is wrong with going back to that system, but keeping the current share of payouts. So a new team only gets prize money after 3 years if it is in the top 10 as it used to be (although that won’t happen before 2026 as it can only be with a new Concord Agreement)

      I mean, what is the purpose of the anti dilution funds when you don’t want new teams to enter anyway. That fund was specifically introduced to offset in the loss in orize money if a new team would enter.

      And hoping that a new manufacturer will enter is …
      Porsche will tie up with Red Bull Racing and Audi will take over an existing team (Sauber), so there will be no new team on the grid.

      Besides, if they really want to get attention in the USA, an American team with a real American driver, going through the American race system will help enormously. That way they can really identify with a team. American drivers going the Europe junior route are hardly known in the USA (sorry Logan).

    17. Restricting entry of other teams surely should result in the loss of credible world championship status for the sport. Football tried to do this recently with the Super League farce. The situations are obviously not identical, but let’s not go there.

    18. I’ve entered into this argument before, that this is an issue of their own making in splitting the pot only 10 ways. It should’ve been written in that 13 teams is the split, and any lower than that that money gets spent elsewhere and not to the teams (for example, additional grass-roots investment, etc.).

      Most fans would want more cars on the track. The historic argument about new teams being slow should be less relevant now the cost cap exists. 13 teams could easily be supported and should be encouraged!

      1. Yes, but I guess you don’t have all the data that is at the hands of the professionals, so you don’t seem to understand the deeper thinking and advanced analysis that went on behind determining that optimum number of teams.

        10 is a rounder number.

    19. We need to be prudent because when we’re talking about Formula 1, we need to have an entity or a team or a manufacturer that [is] really solid, is really strong and has a full commitment for an incredible long-term future.

      What Domenicali is saying is he and the teams want a closed-shop system where the whole competition is owned and the rules are set by the Corporate sector.

    20. They should pay Andretti to join. If DTS made the sport explode in popularity in the US Andretti would make it basically mainstream among every US motorsport fan.

    21. Of course they don’t need a new entrant but it would be nice! I can’t understand why you wouldn’t want the Andretti name in F1. Seriously weird. I mean if you’re talking about what’s really needed, you might as well do away with the sport altogether! I’d be a bit sad though…

    22. “It is not a problem of quantity where we can see a step of increasing the value of Formula 1,” explained Domenicali.

      This is part of F1s problem. It is literally all about increasing the value. No one is interested in the sporting element or increasing competition. Or offering places to new, younger drivers. Everything is about money, and making more of it. The current teams don’t want their investments diluted.

      The other point is that the sport is becoming more and more elitist. This is part of the reason, tracks like Spa, Paul Ricard and Monza are under threat. Liberty only really want circuits that will invest in ultra modern facilities and have attendees pay sums in the thousands to hob knob it with the rich and famous. They don’t care so much about the ordinary fan for whom F1 is a luxury. As long as they can keep the money rolling in they don’t really care about how competitive the sport is or bringing through new talent. Liberty would be fine with older, traditional circuits disappearing rather than not have them generate enough income. But they have to pay lip service to maintaining the traditions of the sport.

      I think the addition of a new team like Andretti would add something new to the sport. If nothing else more opportunities for younger drivers to take part. There is so much talent from the lower formulas sat on the sidelines.

    23. Domenicali is delusional. The current 10 team format is stale. Virtually evey fan understands this.

      1. Welcome to America! As a Yank the corporatization of the sport I’ve been watching since Jim Clark looks quite familiar. Look at the NFL or NASCAR to see F1’s future. It’s all about control and money. The players are just pieces on a board. Liberty or Bernie. The more things change the more they stay the same.

    24. With everything Stefano is saying & with where everything is pointing in terms of the future direction of the sport I think one thing is clear.

      F1 has lost it’s soul.

      Walking away from circuits that are not only fantastic circuits but which also have a history, Character & a soul and replacing them with worse circuits that have no character or soul.

      Drivers who no longer seem to have that same level of passion for the sport & for pure racing as many drivers from the past did. There’s no Gilles Villeneuve or Jean Alesi, No driver that fans universally adore because of how much unfaltering passion they have for the pure act of driving & racing.

      You no longer really have that small privateer team that everyone can get behind because of how much heart and passion they have for just turning up & trying to do the best they can.

      Even looking at a lot (But obviously not all) of the newer, younger fans that have been attracted to us over the past couple years. I just don’t see that same level of love or passion for the sport or it’s history. They watch to kill time, They watch because it’s become the cool thing to do, Because they saw DTS & like a driver. I think this is why the fanbase has become so tribal, It’s there driver vs the world & they care little about the sport as a whole as most would likely stop watching once that driver moves on again because they don’t care about the sport as a whole.

      It’s a sport that has become a show, A sport that has lost it’s heart & soul and as a show it simply doesn’t generate that same level of passion that it did when it was a sport.

      And mark my words, It will end up worse off for it & will come regret the direction it went.

      1. Yep, todays F1 is only about social media interactions and clicks.

    25. Id rather have ANY new team enter than have this fool stay.

    26. “The evaluation is not only with Andretti. The evaluation is with others that are respecting the silence on trying to be more productive on proving who they are and respecting the protocol we [have] put in place.

    27. Mark in Florida
      25th August 2022, 19:32

      Toto is that you again masquerading as Stephani? Great day the big teams have an iron grip on the sport right now. What a shame Andretti is one of the most respected names in racing only Penske is maybe bigger overall. America we want your money not your teams.

      1. They do have an iron grip on the sport, so even if an Andretti team were to join – they’d need their own (US-based) engine supplier to have any half decent say, never mind competitive chance. Otherwise they’re just signing on to spend ridiculous amounts of money to be one of the Big Three’s client teams.

        Giving the team’s a say in how F1 is organized and run used to be a pretty decent idea, but now on every major issue it’s just Mercedes (multiply votes by 4), Ferrari (multiply votes by 3), Red Bull (multiply votes by 2) and Renault who actually have a say. Once in a while a team like Alfa Romeo or Williams is ‘allowed’ to vote against something for show.

        Andretti might be much better off staying in Indycar where thankfully nobody thinks letting Honda and Chevrolet run their own racing team while also supplying everyone else with engines is a good idea.

        1. Mark in Florida
          26th August 2022, 0:14

          MichaelN good stats on the team dynamics. It amazes me that Liberty is letting the teams dictate how things are ran. The FIA is supposed to be in charge but they seem to be in Merc ,Ferrari and RB pocket. The big teams are strangling the growth of the sport for their own short sided gains. So far as the engine situation goes for Andretti if he was to get in he would probably try for Ferrari since they have a competitive engine. Maybe Haas will be ready to sell out in a year or two. Who knows the politics are out of control right now in F1.

    28. To precis the statement,
      “He’s not having a team because we don’t like him”

    29. Id love to have some new teams. Sadly Domenicali and the rest of F1 are in the mindset of “maintaining the status quo” because it works for THEM.

    30. Seems pretty inclusive and diverse, what’s the problem 🤔

    31. Well I just watched another F3 race with 30 cars and I can tell you it’s a lot more exciting than an F1 race.

    Comments are closed.