Stefano Domenicali has claimed that Formula 1 teams are rejecting buy-in offers of "almost billions" as he voiced his opinion that the grid should not expand from the current 10 teams.
Domenicali is the third F1 CEO after Bernie Ecclestone and Chase Carey, and under his stewardship, Grand Prix racing has experienced a surge in popularity with a record-breaking number of races both on the calendar and interested in hosting one.
One aim of Domenicali and F1 was to help the existing 10 teams to become profitable businesses as opposed to the old era where some of the smaller outfits would struggle to stay afloat.
This has been achieved through mechanisms such as the cost cap and a re-distribution of the prize fund model, with teams enjoying a boom in terms of new sponsors and partners.
Audi will be entering in 2026 as a full works operation, while Ford are joining forces with Red Bull to provide power unit support with General Motors also a possibility should Andretti's bid be accepted to join as a new team.
Such is the surge, Domenicali has suggested that buy-in offers of 10-figure sums are being declined by teams.
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Domenicali's 'billions' claim
"Two years ago, when the new Concorde Agreement was signed, when there was the talk about what is the value of a team to come into Formula 1, there was a number put on that was $200m, which seems unreachable," Domenicali told the F1: Beyond the Grid podcast, referring to the anti-dilution fee potential entrants must pay.
"There were teams in the past that we were sold for £1. Now, the market is offering almost billions to teams - and they are refusing that.
"Can you imagine that?"
"The more you are able to have a competitive field, the more you have interesting races, and the more you can create interest in the sport.
"It is clear that there are situations where the interest in Formula 1 teams is bigger because they are investing and believe this the platform to develop other things."
The number of teams
In January, the FIA opened an 'Expression of Interest' process for prospective new teams, with at least four takers, including Andretti, who have been vocal on their efforts to join Grand Prix racing.
However, Domenicali's response to Andretti officially launching their interest was lukewarm, with the Italian's opinion being that 10 teams are "more than enough.
"I think that 10 teams are more than enough to create the show, or the business and the attention that we want to see on the track," he explained.
"There is an evaluation going on today that involves the FIA and us to make the right call for the future, this is something that is also connected to the future discussion that will happen with the renewal of the Concorde Agreement.
"We need to remember that this expires in 2025, so there is still a long time to go.
"But it’s an evaluation that we need to take, considering what I said, where in the past there were teams that were coming in, getting out with zero value, and now the teams are stable, very profitable, and very strong in terms of technical capability to be competitive on track.
"Therefore the right answer is that in the next months it will be a very important point of discussion that we need to take.
"Do we need to stay with 10, do we need to have more teams, or can we give the exemption to future possible teams that can be very strong to join?
"These are all topics that will be part of the discussion for the future."