Guenther Steiner has absolutely zero interest in seeing 11th F1 team

Sam Cooper
Guenther Steiner looking serious in a press conference. Baku June 2022

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner looking serious in a press conference. Baku June 2022

Guenther Steiner has shot down the idea of an 11th team and said that it provides no benefit to the existing constructors, only risk.

Haas are the newest team on the grid in 2016 but since then, the sport’s popularity has exploded and there is seemingly now a queue of potential teams hoping to get their foot in the door.

Andretti-Cadillac are the most vocal of them while Asian-based Panthera told this week that they too were working on the FIA’s new Expression of Interest process.

But even if any team does meet the requirements set out by the FIA, the hardest task is yet to come with Formula 1 needing to be convinced of a new arrival’s merits.

The majority of the existing outfits are unwilling to see another team added, with only McLaren and Alpine giving their support to Andretti’s bid, and Haas boss Steiner has said there is only risk for the current 10 teams should a new one join.

“Five years ago, you could get teams for nothing,” he told Sky Sports F1. “You could pick it up, nobody wanted them, they went out of business. Now all of a sudden, everybody wants a team, a lot of people want to come in.

“The 10 teams which are here, they’re all financially stable. They’re all well set up. It’s a very good environment at the moment, nobody’s struggling.

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“So if you put the 11th team in and we get a little bit [of] a dip in the economy or something, all of a sudden, there are people who maybe struggle to survive.

“So why take that risk if there is no upside? It’s not for me to decide, it’s there for F1 to decide because they are managing the business side of it, but there is no upside at the moment.

“For the other teams, there is just risk, no benefit.”

Although the number of teams on the grid may not change, there will at least be some change in the names of the constructors with Audi coming in the place of Alfa Romeo/Sauber. Another team boss, Christian Horner, suggested a move like that would be Andretti’s best chance of securing an F1 spot.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Horner said the lineage of most of the teams nowadays shows that buying an existing team is the way forward.

“Red Bull Racing was Jaguar, which was Stewart Ford,” he explained.

“You look at Mercedes, that goes all the way back through Honda to British American Racing to Tyrell. Aston Martin go back to being a Jordan team. That has been the procedure for many years.

“There’s absolutely nothing against Andretti, they’re great people and Cadillac is a wonderful brand, but we need to come up with a criteria for 2026 that doesn’t diminish the value of, particularly, the smaller teams, and deals with the elephant in the room of: who is actually going to pay for it?”