McLaren chief executive Zak Brown has backed Andretti-Cadillac’s attempt to secure an F1 entry, claiming an 11th team on the grid could enrich the sport in several ways.
Having gained governing body the FIA’s approval in October, Andretti remain hopeful of securing a place in F1 despite strong opposition from commercial rights holders Liberty Media and many existing teams.
Last month, Andretti partners Cadillac announced plans to become an engine supplier from the start of the 2028 season in a latest effort to convince F1’s stakeholders to soften their stance.
Andretti-Cadillac receive support from McLaren F1 boss Zak Brown
While most existing teams are wary that the arrival of an 11th team would reduce their slice of F1’s revenue, Brown – who memorably partnered with Andretti to arrange then-McLaren driver Fernando Alonso’s first trip to the Indianapolis 500 event in 2017 – is convinced that the arrival of Andretti would help expand the sport.
However, the McLaren boss admitted that very few of the existing team principals have a clear idea of what Andretti’s proposal really entails.
Asked to outline the pros and cos of a potential Andretti entry, Brown told the Track Limits podcast: “The pros is they can help grow the pie.
“That pie can be fans, first and foremost; that can be television revenue; that could be increased exposure in a certain market that helps to bring in more sponsors; excitement on the racetrack.
“The downside is if the pie doesn’t get larger, and then you’re just divvying up the same-sized pie, and that’s where I think the majority of the the teams are.
“I think all of us are not that informed on what the actual proposal is, so everyone is running around with an opinion. I’ve not seen specifically what’s on the table.
“My view is as long as it’s additive to the sport – brings in more fans, brings in more revenue, brings in better television contracts, whatever that may be – if it makes the pie larger I’d rather have one 11th of a pie that’s 1,000 times than one tenth of one that’s 100 times.
“But ultimately the teams don’t have a vote in the matter, so we just need to be dependent upon Formula 1 and the FIA to make that decision as to whether they feel it’s additive.
“I think everyone has an opinion, but not anyone is that educated on actually what the proposition is.”
Brown’s comments come after Mark Gallagher, the F1 business expert, claimed some existing F1 teams “feel like they’re being railroaded into taking an 11th team and handing over a proportion of their prize money” to Andretti.
Gallagher went on to suggest the manner of Andretti’s attempts to force an F1 entry have resulted in a “degree of personal acrimony” with the current teams, warning of a legal battle if the American outfit are rejected.