"Needs to add value" - Mercedes on Andretti bid to join F1

Toto Wolff (left) wants Andretti Autosport to prove its worthiness to enter F1
Toto Wolff (left) wants Andretti Autosport to prove its worthiness to enter F1

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff wants Andretti Autosport to prove it can “add value” to F1 before being approved to join the grid. The Austrian believes any new team seeking to enter the sport should demonstrate how it can help the sport grow, rather than just arriving with an entry fee.

Speaking to the media after the first Barcelona test, Wolff said:

“We are the absolute pinnacle, this is not the Champions League, or the NFL, and redistributing franchises is not the goal, that's not how it should be, and it’s not the intention of F1 and the FIA either.”

Displaying a consideration of the sport's growing market, he further said:

“Andretti is a name, that’s for sure. And the American market is important. But every team that is joining needs to be accretive, that means needs to add value. It’s not only by paying $200 million entry fee, but it needs to demonstrate in my opinion what it can do for the other teams, for F1 and FIA. Only then the sport will grow.”
Michael has applied to the FIA to field a new F1 team starting in 2024. His entry, Andretti Global, has the resources and checks every box. He is awaiting the FIA's determination.

Agreeing with Wolff’s comments, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said that despite increasing interest, any new outfit seeking to join the sport would need to prove its credentials before being allowed to enter the sport.

In 2020, teams negotiated a clause into the new Concorde agreement that requires any new outfit wanting to enter the sport to pay an entry fee of $200 million. This amount will then be split among the teams, in an effort described as protecting existing teams' value from being diluted.

Furthermore, a majority of the current teams will also need to signal their approval before any new team is allowed to join the grid.

Andretti’s F1 entry should be welcomed rather than questioned, McLaren boss

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has criticized his fellow team bosses for questioning Andretti Autosport’s F1 bid, saying that the new outfit should be welcomed rather than being asked to prove its credentials.

Speaking to the media during the Barcelona test, Brown said:

“I think Andretti as a name, as a highly credible racing team, and knowing who his backers are, and who he is, they will no doubt help us grow the sport in North America. I think the teams that may not support another team are being short-sighted. Are we trying to grow the sport? Or are we doing what racing teams have a bad tendency to do, which is think about today and not the future.”
Michael Andretti has applied for a new entry into Formula 1 in 2024. This is how they might look with partners coming over from other series' that Andretti Autosport compete in. Black livery loosely inspired by Mario Andretti's title winning Lotus 78 🇺🇸More angles below.#F1

For the uninitiated, Andretti Autosport is owned by former F1 world champion Mario Andretti’s son Michael Andretti. The outfit has competed in various racing series, including IndyCar, Extreme E, Formula E and more, over the last two decades with varying levels of success.

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Edited by Anurag C
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