This winter season in Formula One is proving to be the most febrile for decades despite the fact the teams and drivers are out of the public spotlight.
Of course 2021/22 saw fevered speculation over Lewis Hamilton’s future following his loss of the title on the last lap of the last race in Abu Dhabi. Hamilton deleted his social media outlets and went dark for over four weeks.
Horner says FIA benefit from extra teams
Yet this January’s behind the scenes goings on between the FIA and F1’s commercial rights holder pales Lewis’ water of discontent pale into insignificance.
Christian Horner believes whilst the F1 teams are resisting any 11th or 12th team joining the sport it is in fact in the interest of the FIA to facilitate this.
“You can understand the FIA, they’ve got no financial consequence of this because they don’t participate in the prize fund, and they’d receive further entry fees for more teams coming in.
FIA extra funds insignificant
Yet with the basic fee set at $617,687 this is hardly a game changer for the FIA given the $21m they are set to receive in entry fees once the $6,174 per point scored in 2022 per team is added.
Further adding an 11th team won’t increase the number of points scored so the FIA cannot gain from that either.
However, attitudes toward the Andretti Racing F1 application appear to have softened somewhat since e they announced a hookup with General Motors brand Cadillac.
Cristian Horner admits “As I said, to have the Andretti brand and name and Cadillac in F1 would be fantastic, and hopefully a solution can be found.
Toto Wolff softens his tone
Even Mercedes boss Toto Wolff who has been in strong opposition of the Andretti application appeared impressed at the American racing team’s announcement last week.
“Cadillac and GM, that’s a statement. Certainly them joining forces with Andretti is definitely a positive, gives it another angle that may or may not be beneficial for Formula 1. Nobody would ever question GM or Cadillac’s pedigree in motorsport and obviously as a global auto company,” said Wolff.
The Red Bull team boss believes that calm heads are required to resolve the matter in relation to the finances.
“It just needs all parties to have a sensible conversation and agree something that is practical and workable.”
Liberty Media can easily resolve the issue
Yet this is easier said than done because the 2020 Concorde agreement allows for a new team to join so long as they pay the $200m anti-dilution fee required which would be shared amongst the teams as compensation for their loss in prize money.
Formula one is booming and the new Las Vegas grand prix could deliver the same net cash to the sport’s owners as several of the European races put together.
So Liberty media could resolve the matter quickly by upping the prize money to ensure the issue of dilution is dealt with once and for all.