F1 CEO Says the Sport Has No Need for Michael Andretti’s New Team

At the beginning of this year, Michael Andretti officially applied to enter Formula 1 for the 2024 season. But when asked about the status of Andretti’s potential entry into the sport, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said he doesn’t think the series needs new teams.

Domenicali stated that he doesn’t think new teams will necessarily add anything to the sport. “I think that today with the current status of F1 there is no quantity issue where we can see a step to increase the value of F1,” he said Motorsport.com. “Like I’ve always said, I don’t think the problem today is having more teams that will add more value to the championship.”

The F1 CEO pointed out that the proposed Andretti team is not the only one trying to break into F1. However, there were others. Domenicali specifically emphasized Andretti’s “vociferous” desire to join, contrasting it with others who have taken the sport more calmly.

Whatever happens in the end, Domenicali believes that any outside interests will benefit the existing teams. “We have the same situation as with the Grands Prix – far more people wanting to take part than people wanting to leave,” he said. This strong interest means there’s no need to expand the roster beyond 10 teams, he says, to protect the starting field from teams leaving the sport.

Andretti Autosport has enjoyed great success in IndyCar competition over the years. Getty Images

The son of Mario Andretti, 1978 F1 World Champion, Michael Andretti also owns the Andretti Autosport IndyCar team. The F1 entry went under the Andretti Global name and it is unclear if this would be a fully independent organization or associated with the IndyCar team. A new signing was not originally planned, but an attempt to buy Sauber unfortunately didn’t work out. The new signing faces an uphill battle as well, with big F1 names like Toto Wolff not exactly rolling out the welcome mat for the Americans. Domenicali’s comments are just the finishing touch.

The final decision on adding new teams ultimately rests with the FIA ​​over existing protocols. The desire is that any new team entering F1 will add value to the sport and stay with it for the long term. Manufacturers with deep pockets that suggest stability beyond that of smaller independent teams are nosing around ahead of the new regulations in 2026. However, manufacturers can also be slack, as Honda’s backflip has shown in recent years.

At various times in the past, F1 has been more than happy to welcome new teams into the herd. For now, the sport and its CEO are presenting a cooler take-it-or-leave attitude. Whether that will discourage eager upstarts from joining the fight remains to be seen.

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