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Toto Wolff

Wolff doubles down on F1 new team stance

The Mercedes team boss has made his thoughts clear on whether he would like to see an extra team join the grid in the future.

Toto Wolff
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Toto Wolff has said that any new prospective Formula 1 teams must showcase a "accretive" element and cannot simply join the grid based on their nationality.

It comes after FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has urged for "common sense" to prevail over whether to let the joint venture between Andretti and Cadillac to become an 11th team in F1.

There is the opportunity to increase the grid size to 12 teams in the future, with the FIA President confirming that "more than five" entries were submitted during the Expressions of Interest process.

But Wolff says F1 must look at what prospective teams must showcase "commitment" to the championship, when speaking to media, including RacingNews365.com: "There is no mature sports league in the world where such a situation is possible.

"Whether it's a national football championship, or the Champions League, the NBA, NFL, NHL, with them just simply setting up a team and saying 'Thank you very much' and making them part of the prize fund.

"You have to qualify, you have to go through the ranks and showcase the commitment to the championship that we've done over the many years."

The National Hockey League in the US is one major sport that has managed to expand its teams in recent years, but Wolff believes the situation is different.

"The NHL has added teams because they have decided to do so with all the stakeholders," he added.

"We have done that in the past when F1 was on the brink of losing teams because of bankruptcy. These two factors are very different with the NHL, to the current situation [in F1]."

Wolff: Team's nationality does not play a role

Wolff doubled down on his belief that prospective teams must demonstrate that they are bringing concrete value to the table rather than simply their nationality.

"This is a league of franchises and when someone comes in, then it should be like in the NFL where you say 'What is it that the new team brings to the party?'

"The team's nationality plays no role - we have [had] an American team for a long time."

Of the five public prospective entries so far, Wolff believes there has not been enough to convince the current teams to increase the grid capacity.

"If it's accretive, then we must look at it. So far, what we've seen hasn't convinced the teams.

"But we haven't seen the applications and submissions that were made to the FIA and to Stefano [Domenicali] and they will judge whether that is positive for F1 one or not."

F1 2023 British Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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