Calls for ‘quality over quantity’ with new teams

Date published: March 22 2019

Calls for 'quality over quantity' with new teams

Formula 1’s current team bosses have made it clear they want “quality over quantity” when it comes to new teams joining the grid.

Last week F1 boss Chase Carey spoke of Liberty Media’s desire to grow the grid past the current 10 teams.

“It is one of our strategic goals,” he said in Melbourne, “we want to make the sport more attractive to potential new entrants.

“That is a key goal we have, it is certainly a goal in the 2021 regulations. I think we’ve got to solidify those regulations to have those discussions.

“I’ve had a number of, more on the team side than the engine side, a number of potential new entrants that have expressed interest and enthusiasm if we provide a structure that they think enables it to be something they could enter more constructively.

“I do think there’s actually interest on the team side, but I think we have to finalise what it looks like so they can evaluate it accordingly.”

But while Carey and the FIA both want more than 20 cars on the grid, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says he’d rather have 10 good teams than 12 of which two of won’t be around in the years to come.

“I always go quality over quantity,” Horner said.

“I think we’ve got ten teams that are in pretty decent health at the moment compared to previous years and I think that as we are seeing, when the grid is expanded, none of those teams that came in a few years ago are still here today.

“In Formula One, the cost of entry is so high it’s virtually impossible unless you’re an OEM or multi-multi-billionaire and sometime not even that’s enough.

“I think we’ve got a good balance at the moment. I would prefer that we look after what we’ve got and have good quality and a closer grid than just inviting more entries for the sake of filling the grid shot and being more cars to lap.”

Back in 2010, HRT, Virgin and Lotus all joined the grid. None of those teams are still in the sport.

Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ motorsport boss, added: “I think it’s important that the starting grid looks complete and that for the live spectators that you see lots of cars going around the track but I think we are in a decent place right now for Formula One and the value of the teams is more important, to keep those franchises limited to attract the best brands to enter or participate in existing teams. I think that is the most important thing going forward.”

Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul is open to additional teams entering F1 but says the sport needs to take steps to ensure that everyone can compete.

“I think that what’s important is the number of teams that are competitive and can really directly contribute to the show and can pretend that they are expecting to win,” he said.

“But if there is a business model which is sustainable for twelve competitive teams, I think that that should be what is looked at.”

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