“It comes down to this,” explains Horner on why he is not backing Andretti. Formula One may be on its winter break, but there is still plenty going on in the paddock. For example, there is currently disagreement over the possible entry of Andretti Cadillac, which the majority of F1 teams do not support. Red Bull’s Christian Horner explains.
According to Horner, it is not that the current F1 teams are against Andretti – or anyone else – entering the sport. The Red Bull Racing team principal argues that it has not been properly explained why things are more complicated than people think. He says there is more to it than just paying $20 million per team, but in the end it all comes down to money.
It all comes down to money
“Like all these things, in the end it comes down to who is going to pay for it,” Horner tells Racer.com.
The Red Bull boss argues that ultimately it is the teams who will pay the price, whether directly or indirectly, and they are not waiting for that to happen. After all, the $200 million that a new team has to pay is a one-off, but the prize money remains the same.
Andretti is backed by McLaren and Alpine, but those teams have their own reasons. Horner continued:
“The two teams that support them either have a partnership with them in the US or will supply them with an engine. The other eight are saying, ‘Wait a minute, why should we dilute our share of the prize money?”
One possible solution would be to increase the prize money, but Liberty Media is not in favour of that. Horner argues that the owners are happy with the way the sport is performing financially and believes that the preferred solution is to possibly take over or merge with an existing team, as Audi will do with Sauber. The introduction of a new team would dilute the value of the current 10 teams.
Horner hopes for a solution
Horner does hope, however, that a solution can be found.
“As with all these things, it all comes down to money,” he continued.
“If the teams’ prize money is sufficiently compensated, the question is how much money is needed to do so and whether that sum will not become unaffordable for subsequent newcomers…”
The Red Bull boss, therefore, thinks it is up to F1 and the FIA to come to a solution, but even between these two organisations, there is division on the subject. While F1 is taking a cautious approach, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has emphatically welcomed the interest of Andretti and GM.
“All parties just need to have a sensible conversation and agree on something that is practical and workable,” Horner said.