FIA president Jean Todt says he and F1 CEO Chase Carey would like to have 12 teams on the grid, but only if they are competitive.
Since 2017 the grid has remained stable at ten teams – 2016 proved the last season for Manor Racing, while before that HRT folded in 2012 and Caterham in 2014 after the trio had taken the grid to 12 teams back in 2010.
Haas arrived as a new team in 2016 and have proved a success story having established themselves in Formula 1, and Todt would like to welcome more new entries, though he’s yet to be approached by an outfit who could be competitive.
“I would prefer to have 12 teams,” Todt is quoted by Motorsportweek.com.
“But then again I do sympathise with the teams, because if you have 12 teams of course it takes the value off their team.
“We have often teams willing to commit and sincerely we have never been convinced by the solidity of the teams, but I mean if we could be convinced it’s really a proper team really to join, myself, I would be quite happy to have 12 teams in Formula 1.
“I think that’s the proper number to hold the Formula 1 championship. Saying that with 10 teams it can work, if you have 10 good teams, competitive [teams], it can work.”
Formula 1 will undergo a drastic facelift in 2021, with a new $175m-per-season budget cap a part of that, and Carey thinks showing potential team owners that F1 is a good investment is crucial going forward.
“I think one of our key priorities is making owning a team, or making team ownership, a better business,” he explained.
“Most of the people I’ve had preliminary conversations with want to see rules in place that provide the framework for a healthier business model.
“We want owning a team, like in other sports, to have a franchise value, as part of that we’ve talked about what is the process to enter a new team, and I think it supports that, how do we make owning a new team something that is a good business proposition not just a pursuit of passion.
“I think our priority, I think we’ve said before, is we want healthy teams, quality more than quantity, to me having an 11th team that sits at the back of the track is not adding for the fans what would improve the sport.
“I’d like to have an 11th team but I’d like to have an 11th team that is a competitive and healthy, and bring something to the sport.
“[And then] I’d rather 12 healthy team to 10 healthy teams but I don’t want 10 healthy teams and two struggling teams. 12 healthy teams is better than 10 teams.”