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F1 2022

Domenicali cool on Andretti F1 entry: I don't see the need

Rumours have swirled for months that a new entrant led by Michael Andretti is seeking to join the Formula 1 grid in the coming years. But F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says there is no need to go beyond the 10 existing teams.

Stefano Domenicali 2
Article
To news overview © Stefano Guindani

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has cast doubt on a proposed Andretti-backed entry into Formula 1, saying the sport doesn't need any new teams.

Mario Andretti revealed in February that 'Andretti Global' had applied to the FIA for a F1 entry from the 2024 season, claiming that the prospective squad, which would be led by son Michael, "has the resources and checks every box".

However, reaction to the proposed Andretti entry from elsewhere in the paddock has been mixed, as an 11th team would eat into the prize money currently shared between the 10 existing outfits.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365.com, Domenicali said F1 did not need any additional teams, and implied that several other organisations have also expressed an interest in joining the grid.

"I think today in the actual status of F1, it's not a problem of quantity, where we can see a step of increasing the value of F1," Domenicali said when asked about the status of Andretti's entry bid.

"It is a matter of understanding really, not only the ones that have a bigger or louder voice, but there will be other people, because Andretti was quite vocal about his request. There are others that have done the same, in a different way.

"So the evaluation is not only with Andretti, the evaluation is with others that are respecting the silence on trying to be more productive on proving who they are, and respecting the protocol we have put in place.

"As I always said, I don't believe that it is today the problem of having more teams that will give more value to the championship.

"But there is a protocol that has to be fulfilled, and everyone, Andretti included, is following that. So this is the situation today."

2026 power unit regulations approved

Domenicali also referenced F1's new power unit regulations that are due to come in in 2026, following their approval by the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) earlier this month.

With the new regulations having been laid out, everything appears to be in place for potential new entries from Volkswagen brands Porsche and Audi, both of whom have been rumoured to be partnering with existing teams.

"Today we are talking about the new regulations [for] 2026 and all the manufacturers involved in that – the incumbents or there may be a new one, we will see – are saying that the time is running very quickly. Four years to do another power unit.

"We need to be prudent because when we're talking about Formula 1, we need to have an entity or a team or a manufacturer that [is] really solid, is really strong and has a full commitment for an incredible long-term future.

"But as I said today, I don't see honestly the need of that increase to have a big benefit for the sport of Formula 1."

			© XPB
	© XPB

Wolff critical of Andretti entry

One of the most vocal critics of the Andretti entry has been Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff, who has said that the value added to F1 by an Andretti outfit would not offset the dilution to the sport's prize purse, as the pot would be split by 11 teams rather than 10.

Wolff's comments prompted Mario Andretti to hit back at the Austrian, saying the proposed outfit was a serious operation and deserved more respect.

Discussing Wolff's comments and his influence within F1, Domenicali defended the Austrian, saying his record spoke for itself.

"Well, I do believe that Toto has a position as Team Principal," said Domenicali.

"He's a 30 per cent shareholder of Mercedes, he has a reputation of winning eight [titles] in a row. So, [on] his credibility, there's nothing to add.

"Mario, I know him very, very well, since a long time. He's trying to present his idea in a way that he thought is the right way to do [it].

"But I do believe that, as you know, there is a governance in place. And the decision has to follow the protocol that is in place. And Mario is very vocal, Michael, too. And I spoke with them quite often, as you can imagine. And we need to respect that.

"We may have different opinions, [but] at the end of the day it's a matter of following the protocol. And there is someone that is to make the final decision. As I said, today I don't see a weakness in the number of teams in F1. That's my opinion.”

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