F1 to debate raising $200m fee for new teams next week · RaceFans

Formula 1 teams will hold discussions next week on whether to increase the fee new entrants must pay to join the series.

The Concorde Agreement, which sets down the terms agreed between Formula One Management, the FIA and the current 10 teams, states that any new F1 entrant must pay a fee of $200 million (£164m). This is to be distributed between the existing teams to compensate them for any reduction in their earnings arising from the grid’s expansion.

The FIA announced this month it had opened a process for new teams to enter F1. This has been met with resistance from many in the paddock due to concerns over its potential impact on the finances of the existing teams.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said the possibility of increasing the fee will be discussed at next week’s meeting of the FIA’s F1 Commission.

Zak Brown, McLaren CEO, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2022
Brown is prepared to welcome two new teams to F1

“I’ve not really spoken with other teams about it [but] it will be a topic at this upcoming FIA commission meeting,” he told media including RaceFans yesterday. “We’ve been sent the agenda and new teams is a topic.”

The fee was introduced when the current Concorde Agreement was agreed following Liberty Media’s purchase of F1’s commercial rights in 2016. Since then interest in the championship has risen and the financial health of the teams has improved, which has led to calls for the fee to be increased.

“I think it’s ultimately up to F1 and the FIA to decide what’s an appropriate fee,” said Brown. “When we came up with the fee almost five years ago now, F1 was a totally different place. So I think they need to land on what they feel is appropriate.

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“And it’s good value for money, right? I mean, these franchises are worth quite a bit of money. So it’s an investment as opposed to a fee because these franchises, if not already worth billions, certainly will be in the not-too-distant future like other major sports.”

Andretti is among those looking to enter F1

Michael Andretti has previously announced his desire to enter F1 with the support of General Motors brand Cadillac. FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem warmly welcomed Andretti’s announcement and said he was surprised by the “adverse reaction” to it from others within F1.

Brown is among those who have been supportive of Andretti’s attempt to enter. He said McLaren would be open to adding an 11th or 12th team to F1 “as long as they’re additive to the sport”.

“I’ve always been focused on how can we make the pie bigger, less focused on how can I get a bigger piece of a pie that’s not growing,” he explained. “And so as long as a new team is is additive, helps us get better TV deals, brings awareness that drives more sponsorship, pays an appropriate franchise entry fee that’s in line with what the value of what F1 is today, then we’re very supportive of of having up to a 12-team grid.

“Ultimately it’s up to F1 and the FIA to decide what they think those values are. But if all those boxes are ticked, then we’re very happy to welcome additional competition and growth of F1.”

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