Stefano Domenicali weighs in on reports F1 could increase entry fees for new team

Michelle Foster
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali at the French Grand Prix. Paul Ricard, July 2022.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali at the French Grand Prix. Paul Ricard, July 2022.

With Formula 1’s existing teams said to want the FIA to triple the entry fee for new teams, F1 chief Stefano Domenicali has hinted that could be on the cards.

The 2016 F1 season was the last time F1 had more than 10 teams, Manor Grand Prix taking the 11th spot before the team collapsed.

However, with Formula 1’s global appeal on an upward swing in recent years, there has been renewed interest from various outfits in becoming the sport’s 11th team, that led by Andretti Cadillac.

To date the majority of the existing teams have opposed Andretti taking the 11th spot, fearing they’ll lose out on prize money. As such they reportedly want the sport’s anti-dilution fund increased from $200m to $600m.

The anti-dilution fund is money that is payable by all new teams and it is designed to compensate the existing teams for loss of earnings as F1’s newest Concorde Agreement rewards prize money to all the teams unlike in yesteryear when it was just the top ten.

It seems F1 chief Domenicali is in favour.

While the Italian didn’t name a figure, he told a meeting of F1 investors that the $200m that had been previously set didn’t take into account how sharply the “value” of Formula 1 would rise.

“The process of having another team has been launched by the FIA,” Domenicali said as per Autosport. “In our governance, in our Concorde, there’s a possibility to do it.

“But the evaluation has to be done together to see from the technical perspective, from the sporting perspective, for the financial stability, and to make the bigger picture, if a new team will give value to the league, to the sport. And there will be a different position.

“And I go back to one point, the so-called anti-dilution payment was done at $200 million, just a couple of years ago. Because at that time no one would have expected that the value of this business would rise up so much.

“Today the situation is totally different, for sure. And it’s our duty to make sure that we protect the business the best way that we can, and have a bigger picture.”

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As for Andretti Cadillac, Domenicali says the Michael Andretti-led team is just one of several keen on entering the sport.

“Today, there’s so many that would like to come,” he said. “There are teams that are more vocal than others, some of them are much more silent, but they are really expressing their interest.

“As always in life someone has to make that evaluation. And we’re part of this process, and we’re going to do the right thing at the appropriate time through this year.”

The FIA officially opened the application window for the 11th, perhaps even 12th, team in February.

Under the revised process the FIA will be judging applications “thorough due diligence””, including the “technical capabilities and resources of the applicant team, the ability of the team to raise and maintain sufficient funding to allow participation in the Championship at a competitive level and the team’s experience and human resources.”

Prospective teams will also have to show that they can commit to the sport’s sustainability target of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 thereby meeting the “mutual aims” of both the FIA and Formula One Management (FOM).