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F1

F1's 'real problem' with adding new team

The sport is assessing candidates to add to the current 10 teams on the grid.

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Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei has conceded "the real problem" with adding an 11th Formula 1 team is the lack of space in some paddock areas on the calendar.

F1 opened a tender process for prospective new teams earlier this year, with a number of entrants known to have launched an entry bid – headlined by Andretti Cadillac Racing.

There has been opposition from the incumbent 10 outfits with the value of their own efforts the main sticking point, but Maffei has suggested there is another issue to remedy.

Speaking on the Walker Webcast, Maffei explained: “The real problem is the way the structure works today, there are probably four or five garages, paddock areas where that would be difficult to put in an 11th bay.

“Maybe that's solvable with money and time. But it's not something you snap your fingers and solve.”

The other issue

“The other issue is that the 10 teams are splitting the profits that go to the teams, and dividing 11 ways is not something they’re particularly enthused about," Maffei added.

“There is a mechanism where there's a franchise fee where a new entrant would pay, we put that in place when the new Concorde Agreement [was agreed].

“Frankly, that was a huge change because, historically, there was no such thing as a franchise fee. In fact, the teams were not franchises. F1 had the right to add, with the assent of the FIA, new teams – as many as we wanted.

“But we really wanted to create value in those franchises, we want to make the teams worth money so that people would invest and create, hopefully, parity on the track.

“Now the teams are looking and saying, 'Well wait a minute, we don't want to divide 11 ways, we are very happy' and whatever is being proposed to pay for a franchise fee doesn't compensate them enough for the dilution that they’re going to take for the 11th team."

Insisting there was a desire to add to the grid, however, Maffei said: "So I think, in the right set of circumstances, we will work to get the 11th team – somebody who could bring a lot of value to the sport, a lot of value to the fans because of their position and technology, the position as an OEM, the position in marketing. Some combination of all that, you could imagine coming to some kind of an agreement.

"But it’s not without controversy, certainly among the 10 teams."

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