Tracks like Miami may not have enough room for F1 to add new teams

Formula 1 teams would be “like turkeys voting for Christmas” if they supported new entrants coming in, says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

He also cast doubt on whether some venues have the infrastructure to accommodate additions to the existing 10 teams.

The FIA opened applications for new teams to join the grid earlier this year. Among those who have declared their intention to apply are Andretti Cadillac, Formula Equal and LKY SUNZ.

However the 10 teams have long resisted any expansion of the grid, fearing the payments they receive from F1 owner Liberty Media will be reduced if they have to be shared with other competitors. “The issues remain the same as 12 months ago,” said Horner, “both fiscally – what is the incentive for an existing team or franchise to accept an 11th entrant – and then ultimately, who pays?”

“If it dilutes the income of the 10, it’s like turkeys voting for Christmas,” he said. “Why would they do that?

“Are Liberty prepared to pay and fund an 11th team, are the FIA prepared to reduce their fees to help accommodate it? So, you know, there are all the financial aspects.”

Any new entrant is required to pay a $200 million ‘anti-dilution fee’ which would be shared between the existing teams. However F1 has held discussions over increasing this in light of the interest from potential newcomers.

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However Horner believes some tracks on the current calendar, including the new Miami International Autodrome which holds this weekend’s race, lack the space for more than 10 teams.

“With the way that the sport has now developed, if you look at the pit lane, for example, here or somewhere like Monaco, Zandvoort, or some of the circuits that we’re now racing at, where would we be able to accommodate an 11th team?

“I think that in itself, just operationally, where do we put the motorhomes? Where do we put the support? Where do the trucks go? I just think it would be an incredibly difficult thing to be accommodated with the way that the sport has currently evolved as well.”

Although some of those circuits hold events including more competitors, each is allocated less space within the pit and paddock than F1 teams have.

The FIA is expected to confirm soon which if any teams have been chosen to enter F1 from 2025 or later. Both the governing body and the commercial rights holder must approve any new entrant, but the existing teams have no say in the process.

“Our opinion is being asked but we’re not part of the process of choosing a team or not,” said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

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“The opinion that we have expressed is that it’s very difficult in Formula 1 to perform. It has taken us many years to be where we are. We’ve gone through really difficult times where Formula 1 wasn’t the blockbuster it is today.

“Therefore whoever enters the sport, I think it would be beneficial for all of us if they can really bring something new to the show, if it can help us to increase our audiences or if there is lots of marketing dollars that are being invested, similar to what we have done over the years. Red Bull and Mercedes, sitting here, I mean, hundreds of millions.

“If that were the case, I think we need to be all open-minded and say how can we contribute to making that happen? But again, we’re not part of the governance. And so I would very much hope that we find someone, if we decided to go for another team, that somebody can really leverage what we have today and make it even greater.”

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