The economic success of Formula 1 has awakened the desire for a new starting point for the team. The world community is pushing for expansion. But opposition has formed in the paddock.
The boom in Formula 1 is attracting more car companies back to the racing series and sparking a fierce battle for billions of horsepower.
The reinstatement of Honda as Aston Martin’s engine supplier from 2026, which was announced shortly before the appearance of Monaco guests, is a further sign of the renewed appeal of motorsport’s premier class. However, the fact that the world federation FIA recently wants to open the door to the paddock for at least one new racing team has met with strong opposition from ten teams.
As always, it’s all about money. If it reduces the income of the other ten, then it will be like turkeys voting for Christmas, says Red Bull team boss Christian Horner when asked about his vote. This means that if the existing teams give up part of the growing revenue, they want to be paid in full.
The strongest of the known bidders so far is likely to be America’s Michael Andretti and the General Motors Cadillac subsidiary project. A team called Formula Equal, which will be sponsored from the Gulf region and will be made up of half women and half men, has also been announced. In Asia, too, there should be at least one potential customer for a new entry on Formula 1. The application period for the 2025 season at FIA ended in mid-May, and a decision should be made by the end of June.
It is already certain that Audi will start with its own team in 2026. But the car manufacturer is taking over the Sauber racing team, which is now in Formula 1 like Alfa Romeo. Ford’s commitment as Red Bull’s future technology partner from 2026 onwards and the arrival of Honda will bring more weight from the automotive industry to the racing series, but it does not change the current ten-team arrangement.
According to the basic contract between Formula 1 and the FIA, there is space for up to twelve racing teams. World Federation boss Mohammed Ben Sulayem recently pushed for an expansion of the starting field and most of all supported Andretti’s request. General Motors is not someone who wants to have an event in Formula 1. We have to promote something like that, said the FIA President.
Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali hitting the brakes. When the current basic contract was signed, no one expected the value of this game to increase so much, the Italian said. The current bosses see the agreed $200 million entry fee for each new team as a bargain. The protection fee would be split between the ten racing teams and is intended to cover their losses if marketing revenue is split between more participants in the future.
The owner of Formula 1, Liberty Media recently paid the teams $1.2 billion, and the situation is increasing. American owners have increased the sales and value of the series and its teams. No one wants to settle for a small piece of the pie. “It would be beneficial for all of us if each guest could really bring something new to the show, expand our audience, or ensure the investment of many marketing dollars,” said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.
Haas teammate Günther Steiner is also worried about the cash situation. All are financially stable. Why rock the boat when there is nothing more in it, said the Italian. You can’t use dreamers, warned McLaren boss Zak Brown.
However, the first decision on new registrations rests with the world association. So Red Bull manager Horner makes a very common point: there is no place for the eleventh team at racetracks like Monaco or Zandvoort. Where should the motor homes go, where would there be room for trucks? It will be very difficult to handle all that, the way the sport has grown, said World Champion boss Max Verstappen. In typical Monte Carlo fashion, the parties in contention can already weigh in this weekend.