Stefano Domenicali: F1 open to talking to ‘credible’ new F1 team

Stefano Domenicali smiling on the grid in Miami. United States, May 2022. Credit: Alamy
Stefano Domenicali smiling on the grid in Miami. United States, May 2022. Credit: Alamy

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has said F1 is willing to discuss a potential entry to the championship from a “credible new entry”.

Domenicali suggested the sport is ready to listen to proposals from an interested team should a new entrant be looking to enter the championship, but insisted the sport is in no hurry to do so.

The last new team to enter the sport was Haas in 2016, with the previous new entrants being the trio of backmarker teams Caterham, Virgin and HRT in 2010 (all now defunct).

With the sport’s popularity booming, rumours of interested parties have surfaced. After years of ‘will they, won’t they?’, the VW Group has finally committed to an F1 entry as the Audi brand enters the sport in 2026 in partnership with the Sauber team.

However, Domenicali said there would need to be extensive conversations if a new entrant was to come along.

“With regard to the value or process related to the possibility of an F1 team to be [introduced] into the championship, of course that is the primary step both us and the FIA have to be in agreement for that,” Domenicali said in a recent investors’ call for Liberty Media.

“I think the first thing we need to consider is [whether] this eventual possibility will bring extra value to the championship.

“If so, of course, we will discuss it internally. We will see if it is any kind of real potential [for a new] new entry [to] give the benefit for the value of the championship. On top of it, there is a value that has to be recognised to the teams that are already in the championship, because of course they cannot allow any dilution of their financial partnership with the F1 Championship.

“This is what is written in the Concorde Agreement. But mainly, the point is that eventually a new entry will bring a better position for the F1 Championship. This is really an integral value in terms of value from the financial point of view and in terms of value from the sporting point of view.

“It is not a problem to do, I think, one more team to have better racing. Therefore, we will see – we will monitor the situation. It would be a real credible new entry that wants to discuss with us. We are ready to discuss, but we are not in a rushed position today for that.”

Do Stefano Domenicali’s comments quash Andretti efforts?

Domenicali’s comments suggest F1 does not view the efforts of the Andretti Group as ‘credible’ as the behemoths of American motorsport seek an entry into the championship for 2024.

Led by former McLaren F1 driver Michael Andretti, the organisation have begun building a new home for the Andretti umbrella of racing teams – the facility being kitted out to potentially home an F1 entry as well.

Andretti have met with resistance from the F1 world, with 1978 Formula 1 World Champion Mario Andretti, father of Michael, viewing the treatment of his outfit as “disrespect” from the paddock.

Speaking in a recent exclusive interview with PlanetF1, Andretti said the team are working full steam ahead on an F1 entry, and are doing so as if F1 has already given them the nod to enter the championship for 2024.

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