The last weeks it seems that the Formula One is doing it’s best to keep new team out of the sport, why would you have two more cars on the grid if you have twenty of them? It is a mindset I never understood in the sport. It is a thought that seems to simmer the last ten years only to appear on the surface the last year or so. I wrote multiple times about the fact that the Formula One needs more cars on the grid, and yes this is another blog stating that more teams are needed in the sport.
Though, will there be more teams?
Recently Andretti was granted their Formula One entrée which is a good move. There seems that four teams were serious, as far you can call it, in enter the Formula One. Besides Andretti it was LKY SUNZ, Hitech and Carlin Motorsport. LKY SUNZ only days before the news came out that Andretti was granted a spot on the grid they mentioned that they were willing to pay 600million entry fee, instead the 200million which is today. The FIA rejected them. The last few years there were more teams / groups interested to join the Formula One. Panthera Team Asia F1 was one of the which eventually evolved in LKY SUNZ, well many of them went to LKY SUNZ.
During Covid period there was also the interest from Monaco F1 Racing Team from Salvatore Gandolfo. The Russian SMP Racing was interested as well to make their debut in the Formula One. Obviously, due to the invasion of Ukraine the Russians this plan never materialised. Probably we should also mention that Stefan Grand Prix was looking to enter the Formula One once again.
Andretti is accepted now, which is a really good point! Though why are the team against new teams? The main reason they give is that their income will become less due to more teams on the grid. Especially the teams that struggle on the grid have the chance that they will gain less money due to more competition. In my opinion new teams will challenge the other teams to do better R&D on their cars. If the money is really the issue why not divide the money better under the teams.
There is also the entry fee a team has to pay for the Formula One. At the moment it is 200 million dollar, that’s a lot of money! If true, looking at LKY SUNZ, this could become 600 million dollar. If this happens you make the sport a closed circle, right? That at some point will destroy itself as it becomes more and more isolated. You basically see that happening already if you look closely at the sport. It seems they become more and more alienated from the world and from their own fans.
Maybe I’m all wrong, I mean I enjoyed the days that 22 or 24 cars were on the grid. I might romanticize the view of teams as Minardi or Prost Grand Prix that were able to score points by finishing sixth. Back then only the top six would earn points. In that perspective on todays grid there are plenty of teams that have nothing to seek on the grid. As of 14 October that would be Williams, Alfa-Romeo, Haas and Alpha Tauri all of them failed to score a P6 or higher.
It was Bernie Ecclestone who had a problem with teams that were only grid fillers just like Andrea Moda which is understandable. Though it is the same teams that gave the Formula One that glance. Once again this is an era when the Formula One was different from how it is now. Though, I do miss teams like Pacific, Forti, Minardi, AGS, Coloni, Prost, Simtek and Scuderia Italia. Don’t you?