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Steiner sees "no upside" for current teams in expanding F1 grid

Haas boss Gunther Steiner believes there is “no upside” and “just risk” for the existing 10 Formula 1 teams by expanding the grid in the near future.

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1

Last week, the FIA formally started the process to accept expressions of interest from potential new F1 teams, with the Andretti/General Motors entry the most publicly-known push to join the grid. 

But F1 itself and some of the existing teams have raised concerns about the impact of possibly adding an 11th team, as it would reduce their prize money shares. The feeling is that unless a new entry would bring full manufacturer support to the grid, the drawbacks would outweigh the benefits of expanding the field.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 at the Haas factory on Friday, team principal Steiner noted that “five years ago, you could get teams for nothing”, but that now the series was stable, caution was required with potential expansion.

“The 10 teams which are here, they’re all financially stable, they’re all well set up,” said Steiner.

“It’s a very good environment at the moment, nobody is struggling. So if you put an 11th team in and you get a little bit of a dip in the economy or something, all of a sudden, people maybe struggle to survive.

“So why take that risk if there is no upside? Because an 11th team, what upside is it bringing?

“It’s not for me to decide, it’s for FOM to decide, FOM and the FIA, because they’re managing the business side of F1.

“There is no upside at the moment for an 11th team to come for the other teams. There is just risk, no benefit.”

Michael Andretti

Michael Andretti

Photo by: Mark Sutton

Any new team would have to pay a $200 million into a dilution fund that would be split between the existing 10 teams, as outlined under the current Concorde Agreement, to make up for the loss in prize money.

But many F1 figures, including Steiner, have already suggested this figure needs to be reviewed once the next Concorde Agreement comes into force for the 2026 season. A figure of around triple the current figure has been mooted. 

The scepticism from many in F1 has not been met kindly by Michael Andretti, who is spearheading the Andretti/General Motors entry bid.

He said last month that “greed” was behind the resistance he was facing, and that teams were “looking at themselves and not looking at what is best for the overall growth of the series.” 

While the FIA is overseeing the process for possible new teams, it has acknowledged that support is also required from F1 as the commercial rights holder and the existing members of the grid.

Potential new teams have until 30 April to submit expressions of interest with the FIA, who will then make a decision by 30 June if any candidate is deemed suitable to then join the field for the 2025 season at the earliest.

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