Andretti Global has publicly expressed a desire to enroll in the grid in 2024, bringing the total number of teams to 11 for the first time since Manor decided to withdraw prior to the 2017 season. While the transition makes perfect sense given F1’s burgeoning market in the United States, the vast bulk of the grid has not welcomed the outfit with great enthusiasm.
“Well, obviously, you know naturally for the current signatories to the Concorde agreement, it makes total logical sense to say that the 10 teams or 10 franchises have an intrinsic value and you dilute that by increasing the number. You know, theoretically, it should be a Liberty [Media’s] issue to address if they want new teams to come in,” explained Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner.
Horner then proceeded to bring attention to the distribution of the prize fund incase there are 11 teams on the grid, thus highlighting the vital factor that money acts as here. In addition to Andretti, Porsche and Audio have announced desire to join the grid in 2026, though this will most presumably be as a power unit partner to an established team. “I think it’s great that there’s the interest from both OEMs and a brand and a team like Andretti, you know, it’s a great name,” added Horner.
“More doesn’t mean being better” :Guenther Steiner
American-based racing team Haas’ team principal Guenther Steiner was present with Christian Horner during this debate and along with Horner, he encouraged F1 to focus on quality over quantity.
“As businesses, I think, first of all, we have got in the moment 10 stable teams, which for a long time was not possible in F1, or was not happening in F1. Now, for five years, everything is pretty stable, very good. And why would the 10 teams say we will dilute our value to bring somebody new in, you know, what’s in it for us? We have been here a long time,” added the Italian team principal.
He then added that it’s a different discussion if FOM decides to distribute more money, but to just have more teams doesn’t necessarily make it better. “[It would be] better if Mario came back driving, but, you know, I think it’s something that really Liberty, it’s their business model that they need to work out for the future,” added Horner.