Any new team in Formula 1 would need to offer $1billion, according to Toto Wolff.
The Mercedes F1 team principal has discussed the sport expanding amid interest from ex-F1 driver and IndyCar champion Michael Andretti to enter a team for 2024.
Andretti has been in talks with the sport’s governing body the FIA, submitting unspecified “paperwork” with the view of launching a team to be known as Andretti Global, which would be the first new team since Haas in 2016.
Andretti’s team would have a home in the UK, while also maintaining a headquarters in the United States to build the cars.
But the barrier of entry could be daunting for Andretti, with Wolff adamant it will cost far more than the $200m entry fee.
“Andretti is a [significant] name, for sure, and the American market is important,” said Wolff when quizzed about the potential expansion to the existing 10 incumbent franchises.
“Every team that is joining needs to add value. It’s not only by paying a $200m entry fee but it needs to demonstrate in my opinion what it can do for all the other teams and for Formula 1 and the FIA. Only then the sport will grow.
“We are the absolute pinnacle, this is the Champions League or the NFL. And redistributing franchises on the go is not how it should be. It’s not the intention of F1 and the FIA either.
“But if a real brand with good people, necessary funding, not only the $200m but probably you need more around $1bn if you want to play in this club straight from the get-go – then why not?”
While Red Bull team boss Christian Horner added: “It’s great that there is the interest for people wanting to enter Formula 1.
“The Andretti name is certainly a powerful name in motorsport. They’re not the only ones making noises about coming on.
“But there is a clear criteria through the Concorde Agreement that has to be met and approved. I’m sure they are engaged in that process.
“That agreement is there to protect the 10 incumbents and not to dilute that. So that would need to be carefully looked at.”
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