Stefano Domenicali believes Formula 1 does not need new teams

Sam Cooper
Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1 CEO. F1 Jeddah March 2022.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali speaks in the paddock. Jeddah March 2022.

Stefano Domenicali has said he believes Formula 1 does not need a new team as there is a risk the sport would become “too crowded.”

With just 20 seats available in the world, Formula 1 is one of the most elite and difficult sports for an athlete to break into.

The current team size has been in place since 2017 but there are no set rules on the maximum number of chassis manufactures able to join. The only rule that is in place is the one that dictates a maximum of 26 cars can start an F1 race.

For anyone looking to join, it comes with a $200 million buy-in as compensation for the existing teams but even if prospective entrants are able to pay that, it is no guarantee of their place.

The Andretti family has found this out most recently as their appeal to be granted a place in the sport has fallen on deaf ears for the time being.

The sport’s president Domenicali has poured cold water on the idea of expansion and argued that doing so would not be right for the business of F1.

The Italian was asked on Sky Sports F1 if the sport needed a few more teams as there is not enough seats for prospective drivers but Domenicali felt that was more a matter of the market.

“As always we need to be balanced,” he said. “You need to see all the things that are around the table because having more drivers you know, at the end of the day, there is always a limit to which you can go adding one or two you may open up some driving seat that has to has to be built from the fundamentals.

“That’s part of the of the game, but we need to also have the right dimension [in regards to] what is the success of the sport? I think in that in that respect, there is the evaluation of the sustainability of the team [also] the evaluation of not being too crowded. So I would say that is not really in terms of priority and need for the business of Formula 1 today.”

Mario Andretti has becomingly increasingly frustrated at his failed effort to join but Domenicali stated he has yet to see a proposal from someone who is top quality in all areas of running an F1 team.

“[It] is a matter of being balanced and having a vision of the future. Now F1 is extremely competitive, but you need to be very, very strong in terms of financials, in terms of competencies, and today, this is one of the things that is crucial to make sure that the stability of the system [is strong].

“You’ll see how difficult today is to find people that are really at the top quality in all the different [areas of] business. And I’m saying that with a lot of respect, of course, I think that is the time where we need to invest for the future. But we need to be balanced. So I’m not saying that this will not happen. I’m just saying that we need to take it step-by-step.