It is anticipated that a decision will soon be made on whether to invite an additional team to join the grid in the future. Among the applicants, the Andretti/Cadillac project stands out.
Current teams have continuously expressed their resistance to a new team slicing into the championship’s income. They have signaled that any new participant should bring something substantial to the series.
Despite the inclusion of Cadillac in its name, other teams perceive Andretti as not meeting the criteria. Fred Vasseur from Ferrari argued the series doesn’t need another American team, while Red Bull’s Christian Horner characterized Cadillac’s involvement as merely a badging exercise.
“We don’t have insight into the applications and proposals,” Wolff admitted.
“The main decision-makers in such a case, primarily the FIA and FOM, will evaluate whether the proposed entry benefits F1, what it contributes in terms of marketing and interest, and if it’s worth considering.
“We’ve been clear on our stance – buy a team. Introducing an 11th team would have significant implications, especially during qualifying sessions. We already appear like we’re on a go-kart track, stumbling over each other. It raises safety concerns.
“Our current logistics can’t accommodate an 11th team. At Silverstone, we can make room for the Hollywood crowd, but it’s not feasible at other circuits.
“Organizations like Audi and recently the venture capital fund at Alpine have invested in F1 teams at considerably higher values.
“All these elements form a picture that the FIA and FOM need to evaluate. As I mentioned, if a team can contribute positively to F1’s development, like the other teams have done and endured for many years, it warrants consideration.”
Wolff compared the F1 scenario with other sports, asserting that new teams cannot merely decide to participate.
“No mature sports league globally, whether it’s a national football championship, the Champions League, the NBA, the NFL, or the NHL, allows such a situation where you can just establish a team and join, expecting a share of the prize fund.
“One must qualify, ascend through the ranks, and demonstrate commitment to the championship like we’ve done over the years.
“Though we haven’t seen the applications and submissions sent to the FIA and Stefano Domenicali, they will determine if it’s beneficial for F1. However, from a team owner’s perspective, no league simply expands its entries, as it weakens the whole league.”
Wolff acknowledged that leagues like the NHL have introduced new teams, but this was done because the existing members agreed it would be mutually beneficial.
“In the past, when F1 was at risk of losing teams due to bankruptcy, we increased the number of teams without any complaints. Instead, we felt the need to maintain at least 10 teams on the grid. This situation is entirely different from what the NHL has experienced.
“I firmly believe this is a franchise league. Any newcomer should be assessed like in the NFL, by what they bring to the table. The FIA and FOM will make this decision, and we can only offer our comments from the sidelines.
“It’s clear where we stand – we only want a team that brings more to the table than it takes from the other teams. An 11th team must offer more excitement, like more thrilling drivers.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about 11th F1 Team
Q: What are the concerns raised by Wolff regarding adding an 11th F1 team?
A: Wolff expresses concerns about potential safety issues and logistical challenges that may arise from introducing an additional team. He emphasizes the importance of any new entrant bringing value to the series.
Q: How do existing teams feel about a new team sharing the championship’s income?
A: Existing teams have consistently opposed the idea of a new team receiving a share of the championship’s income. They believe that any additional entrant must bring something significant to the series.
Q: Why does Wolff believe that new teams should not simply be allowed to enter F1?
A: Wolff compares F1 to other sports leagues and argues that in no mature league can a new team simply decide to join and expect a share of the prize fund. He believes that new teams should qualify, go through the ranks, and demonstrate commitment to the championship.
Q: What factors does Wolff suggest should be considered when evaluating a new team’s entry?
A: Wolff mentions that the FIA and FOM should assess whether a proposed entry is beneficial for F1 in terms of marketing, interest, and positive development. He also highlights the need for a new team to contribute more to the series than what it costs the other teams.
Q: Has there been any specific applicant mentioned in the text?
A: The Andretti/Cadillac project is mentioned as the highest-profile applicant for the potential new team, but existing teams do not consider it to fit the bill.