Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says the likes of Andretti wanting to join Formula 1 face a tough task because there are logistical issues as well as financial ones.
Andretti has been publicly targeting a spot on the F1 grid for more than a year, partnering with Cadillac to form a bid that it has submitted to the FIA along with interest from a Saudi-backed team planned by Craig Pollock and an apparent evolution of the Panthera project now called Lkysunz. With the FIA analyzing submissions of interest, Horner struggles to see how many of F1’s venues could handle an extra entrant.
“I think the issues remain the same as 12 months ago, both fiscally – what is the incentive for an existing team or franchise to accept an 11th entrant, and then ultimately, who pays?” Horner said. “I mean, if it dilutes the income of the 10, it’s like turkeys voting for Christmas. Why would they (the teams) do that?
“You know, 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, but I think beyond that…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.”
Sitting alongside Horner, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff also pointed out the team bosses regularly provide their viewpoint when questioned but don’t actively have the ability to choose if a new team is accepted or not.
“First of all, we have no say in this,” Wolff said. “If we’re being asked… Our opinion is being asked. But we’re not part of the process of choosing a team or not.
“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, and 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.
“And 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.”