“If you look at the pit lane …” Horner renews rejection of new Formula 1 teams. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has put forward the next argument for why there should not be an eleventh and twelfth team in Formula One.
According to him, there is simply not enough space at some tracks to accommodate additional Formula One teams – although up to 26 cars would theoretically be possible according to the regulations. A blow for the Andretti team whose final application is happening this week.
“If you look at the pit lane, for example here [in Miami] or somewhere like Monaco or Zandvoort or some of the circuits we are racing at now, where could we accommodate an eleventh team?” asks Horner, once again opposing additional competition.
In Miami, Formula One had its paddock in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, which of course limits the space, and at the aforementioned races in Monaco or Zandvoort, too, there are frequent grumblings about the narrow pit lane, which is hardly suitable for accommodating even more teams.
However, Formula 1 had even more teams in the past and was also held in Monaco & Co. Back then, they also accommodated all the teams, but nowadays everything is once again one size bigger, Horner knows.
“That alone is an operational question: where do we put the motorhomes? Where do we put the frame series? Where do the trucks go?” he asks.
“I just think it would be incredibly difficult to be accommodated with the way the sport has developed at the moment.”
But it is well known that the ten existing teams are opposed to new entrants anyway, even though they stress that officially they have no say in the matter. They fear above all that prize money will decrease because it will be divided up by more entrants – although each newcomer already has to pay a participation fee of 200 million US dollars, which is divided up among the teams.
But Formula 1 around Stefano Domenicali has also sided with the teams. The Italian has repeatedly stressed that a new team must increase the value of Formula 1.
Brown: New teams yes, but only serious applications
Only McLaren managing director Zak Brown had recently spoken out more and more in favour of a new team, should it be serious. After all, he had already seen many “dreamers” in recent years who wanted to try their hand at various series. “What we don’t need is a team that underestimates everything here and then is no longer there after two years,” he says.
In recent years, he says, there has been a lack of sensible candidates: “The only sensible, sustainable team I’ve seen in the last ten years is Günther [Steiner]’s,” he points to the Haas team, which was the last newcomer to the sport so far in 2016.
Before that, Lotus, Virgin and HRT were the last true newcomers in 2010, but none of them have been on the grid for years.
“So we need to make sure that someone who applies really has the commitment and can meet the requirements,” he says, praising the Haas team in contrast.
“We need more teams like that.”
More cars would be “exciting”
Brown fondly recalls earlier years when Formula One had to hold pre-qualifying sessions to determine which teams would even be allowed to take part in the race weekend and which would have to leave beforehand.
“Back then, 30 cars wanted to take part,” he says, finding a high number of teams “exciting”.
“Adding the right teams with the right resources to the grid adds value, and if they help grow the sport, then I’m absolutely in favour of it,” Brown says.
An FIA call for applications for new teams to join from 2025, 2026 or 2027 is currently open until 15 May. There is no shortage of interested parties.
Known applicants include Andretti-Cadillac, Hitech and an Arab project called Formula Equal. Most recently, a Southeast Asian team called LKY SUNZ announced its application for Formula 1. In addition, there could still be applicants that the public has not yet heard about.