F1 News: Teams Are Set to Attempt Rule Change Which Could Ruin Andretti's Hopes - Insider

Nov 18, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; BWT Alpine F1 driver Pierre Gasly of France (10) drives during
Nov 18, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; BWT Alpine F1 driver Pierre Gasly of France (10) drives during / Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

Reports have emerged stating that the current Formula 1 teams have proposed a change to the maximum number of teams on the grid from 12 to 10 in the next Concorde Agreement.

Key Takeaways:

  • Formula 1 teams propose to cap the grid at 10 teams in the upcoming Concorde Agreement to maintain financial stability, potentially blocking new entrants like Andretti Global from joining the series.
  • The $200 million anti-dilution fee, designed to protect existing teams' revenues, may increase if the grid is not capped, amid concerns over ownership structures and competitive fairness.
  • Andretti Global passed initial FIA evaluations but was rejected by Formula One Management, however, the American team has continued work at pace, remaining hopeful for a 2026 entry.

According to F1 journalist Joe Saward (as quoted by Motorsportweek.com), the current teams, unified in their stance, are pushing to limit the number of competing teams to 10, potentially blocking new entries like Andretti Global from joining the fray.

This proposal marks a move by the current constructors to safeguard their financial interests amid a flourishing economic period for the sport. Since Liberty Media's acquisition in 2017, Formula 1 has adopted a more franchise-based model, mirroring successful U.S. sports leagues, thus enhancing team valuations dramatically. The existing teams, some now valued near the £1 billion mark, are intent on preserving this profitability, which could be diluted by increasing the number of teams sharing the revenue pot.

The $200 million anti-dilution fee introduced to protect the teams’ interests by distributing new entrants' contributions evenly has not deterred discussions about further limitations. The fee, aimed at ensuring that the entry of new teams does not financially harm the existing ones, might see a significant increase if the team cap is not enforced.

The push for a smaller grid stems from several factors, including the financial strain experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, which left many teams battling economic hardships. With recovery still on the minds of many, the idea of sharing hard-earned revenue with new entrants is met with considerable resistance.

Despite these hurdles, Andretti had advanced through the initial stages of the FIA's vetting process but was halted by Formula One Management, which has yet to green-light their entry for 2026. However, the American team is pushing on with its F1 project and even unveiled its new Silverstone, UK, facility earlier this week.


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Lydia Mee

LYDIA MEE

Lydia is the lead editor of F1 editorial. After following the sport for several years, she was finally able to attend the British Grand Prix in person in 2017. Since then, she's been addicted to not only the racing, but the atmosphere the fans bring to each event. She's a strong advocate for women in motorsport and a more diverse industry.