Wolff: $200m fee for new teams ‘very important’

Mark Scott
Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said that the new regulation which will ensure any new Formula 1 team has to pay $200m to the other 10 is “very important” to the sport.

The powers-that-be in Formula 1 have consistently said there is room for one, perhaps two new teams to join the grid and it is hoped that the new technical, sporting and financial regulations on the way in 2022 will help attract fresh faces in the years to come.

However, another new regulation, which has been revealed during the Tuscan Grand Prix weekend at Mugello, may just plant a seed of doubt for any new teams.

As part of the revised Concorde Agreement there is a rule that states a new team must share $200m equally across the existing 10 teams to be allowed to join the grid.

Liberty Media and the existing teams do have the option under the Agreement to alter that figure.

The new regulation has received criticism since it was revealed, but Wolff has defended the decision.

Toto Wolff

“No, on the contrary, I think it’s very important. It sets a floor for team valuation,” Wolff told Motorsport.com when asked if it will put any potential teams off joining.

“Obviously it’s in the discretion of the commercial rights holder to decide otherwise if we are less than 10 teams, but I think such franchise value is completely normal.

“It should be limited to 10 teams. It is something special, to have an entry into Formula 1.

“That is valid for most of the professional sports leagues.”

Haas team principal, Guenther Steiner, was also supportive of the new regulation.

“If you pay this, you buy a value,” Steiner said.

“Anybody who has got money can decide if he wants to make an investment or not. With the budget cup, it can be an investment. Because if you do a good job, you can be profitable.

“I think it’s an opportunity. You can create a value for somebody coming in new. Whoever comes in, he needs [to be] pretty solid to put a considerable chunk of money down to get the license, and then to build up the team, or buy a team.

“So you’re almost sure that you get people which can raise this amount of monies.

“The good thing is with the budget cap you can budget for how much you’re going to spend. Now you know how much it would cost you, and then you can evaluate if it’s worthwhile the risk to invest in it.

“I think it’s actually a positive for F1, that if somebody comes in, it is serious.”

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