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F1 team bosses cool on new entrants – "Like turkeys voting for Christmas!"

With several prospective entrants rumoured to be looking at joining the F1 grid in the coming years, RacingNews365.com asked several Team Principals how they would feel about more teams in the sport.

Several F1 Team Principals have displayed a predominantly negative attitude towards the possibility of more teams joining the sport in the coming years. There are currently ten teams on the grid, though current F1 regulations contain provisions for up to 13 teams. The current deadline for Expression of Interest proposals to be submitted to the FIA is May 15th, with a deadline of June 30th in place for formal bids to be submitted. When the EoI process was opened in January, Andretti immediately made their long-held ambitions of an F1 entry clear by announcing a venture with General Motors and Cadillac. Other potential entrants include a Craig Pollock-backed project dubbed 'Formula Equal' with backing from a Gulf-area nation, believed to be Saudi Arabia, and a British-based team, working under the H26 banner. And earlier this week, it was revealed that a southeast Asia-backed entry, dubbed LKY SUNZ, is to apply to join F1 from as early as 2025 .

Wolff - "They need to bring something to the show"

Speaking in response to a question from RacingNews365.com , Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff said any new entrant would need to have the means to invest heavily in order to help grow the sport. "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," said Wolff. "Red Bull and Mercedes [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? "I would very much hope that we find someone, if we decided to go for another team, that somebody can really leverage what we have today and make it even greater."

Horner – "What's the incentive to accept new teams?"

Having previously voiced his opposition to new entrants joining the F1 grid, Red Bull's Christian Horner once again sounded a cautious note, with concerns not only about new teams splitting F1's existing prize pot, but also whether the sport's pit lanes would be large enough to safely accommodate more cars. "The issues remain the same as 12 months ago: What is the incentive for an existing team or franchise to accept an 11th entrant, and then ultimately, who pays? If it dilutes the income of the [existing] ten, it's like turkeys voting for Christmas. Why would they do that?" said Horner. "Are [commercial rights holder] Liberty Media prepared to pay and fund an 11th team, are the FIA prepared to reduce their fees to help accommodate it? "There are all the financial aspects, but beyond that, if you look at the pit lane here, or somewhere like Monaco or Zandvoort, where would we be able to accommodate an 11th team? "Where do we put the motorhomes? Where do we put the support? Where do the trucks go? It would be an incredibly difficult thing to be accommodated with the way that the sport has currently evolved."

Szafnauer – "If F1 is better off adding new teams, we should look at it."

Alpine’s Otmar Szafnauer was more open to the notion of additional teams, citing the introduction of the budget cap as a successful mechanism for levelling F1's playing field. "If the entire sport can be better off by adding teams, that's what we should be looking at doing," said Szafnauer. "Right now, we have ten teams competing almost at the same level and I think that's good for the fans. We haven't had that in recent years in Formula 1 and I think the cost cap has helped, better distribution of income has helped. "The fact that the sport is on the ascendancy means we get more sponsorship and with all that, having ten healthy teams is great for the sport. "If we had more than ten, and it becomes a little bit less healthy, maybe that's not so good. For me, it's whatever optimises the entire sport, whatever that number is."

Brown – "I'd love to see more cars on the grid."

McLaren CEO Zak Brown sounded a similar note to Szafnauer, but cautioned that any new teams must have the means to remain in the sport for the long-term, citing Haas as a successful example of a new entrant having established itself in F1. "As long as they are additive to our sport, I'd love to see more cars on the grid. I think it's exciting," said Brown. "I remember when I started following Formula 1, you had pre-qualifying, I think there were 30-31 cars trying to show up to make the show, so I think an increase in the grid of the right teams that bring the right resources and are additive to what we're all trying to do and help grow the sport, I'm all for it. "Really the only credible, sustainable team that I've seen in the last decade is [Haas]. What we do need to make sure of is if someone enters that they really have the commitment and can do what it takes. "In a variety of motorsports, you do see a lot of dreamers and what we don't need is a team coming in, underestimating what it's going to take and two years later, they're gone." Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner, who has been with the team since they joined F1 in 2016, added that new teams should only join the grid if it proves advantageous for the existing ten. "If we got more teams, there needs to be an upside for the ten which are here, and then I think nobody will have anything against it," said Steiner. "Financially, everybody's stable. Why should we rock that boat if there is not more coming to us?"

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