Horner: Disingenuous and pointless debate

Christian Horner has once again voiced his opinion on a matter which in fact he holds no sway. The Red Bull team boss decided to react to news that the final applications to the FIA’s expression of interest to join Formula One are being completed.

Formula One faced a crisis in the decade leading up to 2016 when the newly formed Haas F1 team joined the sport.



F1 dark times

A number of manufacturers puled out in the face of the global recession in the late naughties with Honda and Toyota disappearing in consecutive seasons.

Bernie Ecclestone persuaded the remaining teams together with the FIA to accept three new teams in 2010. Virgin, HRT and Lotus joined the grid with Ecclestone guaranteeing their annual prize money out of the share the commercial rights owner received.

Manor F1 who evolved from the HRT team were the last of the three to race in F1 during 2015 but they gave up the ghost due to financial difficulties at the end of the season.

There’s been an ongoing row in Formula One for almost two years following the expression of interest from US based Andretti Global Racing outfit to join Formula One.

Alpine boss axed



Andretti confirms working on F1 bid

But there was no proper process in place at the FIA for a new team to follow in its application, then controversially this year FIA president tweeted he was accepting expressions of interest from parties interested in joining F1.

The latest Concorde agreement between the teams, the FIA and Liberty Media had agreed a fee of $200m should be paid by incoming ‘new’ teams as anti dilution compensation for the existing ten competitors.

Michael Andretti was present in the most recent race in Miami and told Sky F1 they were actively pursuing their bid to join the sport.

“That’s our goal, We’re working on it,” Andretti said of the bid. 



F1 confirms 4-5 teams applied to join

“We have a process that we’re in the middle of with the FIA and we’re submitting our paperwork this week, and hopefully get an answer middle of July. We’re making good progress.”

“We’re building a team as we speak,” he added.

Andretti Global is just one of “four or five” teams who have applied to join the F1 grid from 2025/6 according to F1’s CEO Stefano Domenicali.

Yet Christian Horner has stoically refused to accept Formula One needs or wants any additional teams, despite a number of fan websites showing opinion to the contrary.

Red Bull reacts to Wolff’s advice



Is it all about money?

Responding to Andretti’s previous comments the Red Bull boss declared,“Yeah, I think the issues remain the same as 12 months ago, both fiscally – what is the incentive for an existing team or franchise to accept an 11th entrant – and then ultimately, who pays?”

“I mean, if it dilutes the income of the 10, it’s like turkeys voting for Christmas,” he said.

“Why would they do that? You know, are Liberty prepared to pay and fund an 11th team, are the FIA prepared to reduce their fees to help accommodate it?”



Horner strains at a gnat

Horner extends the much debated “who pays” arguments with one based on logistics. 

“So, you know, there are all the financial aspects, but I think beyond that, as well is, with the way that the sport has now developed, if you look at the pit lane, for example, here or somewhere like Monaco, Zandvoort, or some of the circuits that we’re now racing at, where would we be able to accommodate an 11th team?”

“I think that in itself, just operationally, where do we put the motorhomes? Where do we put the support? Where do the trucks go? I just think it would be an incredibly difficult thing to be accommodated with the way that the sport has currently evolved as well.”

To certain degree, Horner is being disingenuous simply because the facilities at the locations he referred to can be extended beyond the current space for the ten teams.

Alpine reacts to Rossi attack



Wolff admits the teams have no say

The Miami organisers for example relocated the team’s hospitality this year onto the Miami dolphins pitch and the pit lane buildings are capable of hosting more than 10 garages.

Toto Wolff countered Horner’s assertions by reminding those present, “First of all, we have no say in this.”

“Our opinion is being asked. But we’re not part of the process of choosing a team or not.”

“The opinion that we have expressed is that it’s very difficult in Formula 1 to perform. It has taken us many years to be where we are.



Successful applicants announced this Summer

Yet the Mercedes boss does argue that the current teams have battled it out through the tough times when F1 did not have the global popularity it does now.

“We’ve gone through really difficult times where Formula 1 wasn’t the blockbuster it is today, and therefore whoever enters the sport, I think it would be beneficial for all of us if they can really bring something new to the show, if it can help us to increase our audiences or if there is lots of marketing dollars that are being invested, similar to what we have done over the years.

“Red Bull and Mercedes, sitting here, I mean, [have invested] hundreds of millions. And if that were the case, I think we need to be all open-minded and say how can we contribute to making that happen?”

The president of the FIA has indicated they favour the Andretti application and that their partnership with General Motors brand Cadillac would add to F1’s global appeal.

With Andretti hoping to join the F1 grid for the 2025 season, the FIA process will conclude swiftly with decisions being made during the F1 summer break.

READ MORE: Ricciardo promised a drive at the Canadian GP

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