Toto Wolff reveals his latest stance on new team entry debate

Thomas Maher
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2023.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

Toto Wolff has been vocal about his desire not to rush a decision to bring an 11th team into F1, as the FIA’s application process has ended.

The FIA opened up invitations to tender for an 11th Formula 1 team to enter the sport over the coming years, with that application process now concluded – the governing body is yet to reveal officially whether any of the applicants have passed the initial hurdles.

High-profile entries from the Andretti Global and Hitech GP camps have been confirmed, both of whom are believed to be the leading contenders for a possible 11th team slot.

Toto Wolff: Our stance remains unchanged

But the possibility of an 11th team is one that has not met with much support from any of the teams, as they have no desire to have their long-term prize funds diluted by the addition of another outfit to the grid.

With the deadline date passed, and the addition of a fake 11th team to the Silverstone paddock due to the filming of a Brad Pitt-led Apple movie, Toto Wolff was asked whether his stance on the addition of a new team has changed.

“Yeah, pretty much unchanged,” he told media, including

“I mean, we had no visibility of who the applications came from and what the proposals are.

“For the stakeholders and maybe the FIA and FOM, will decide on such a new entry, and will assess the proposal created for Formula 1 –  what does it bring us in terms of marketing and interest?

“And whether they want to think about introducing that. recommends

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“Our position was very clear – buy a team. But there are a lot of consequences.

“When you look at qualifying sessions, I mean already now we’re looking like a go-kart track, tripping over each other.

“There is a safety concern, we haven’t got the logistics on where to put the 11th team. In Silverstone, we can accommodate the Hollywood people but, at other circuits, we can’t.

“Then people like Audi and now the venture capital companies buying F1 for considerably higher valuations, all that is a picture that the FIA and FOM have to assess.

“As I said before, if a team can contribute to the positive development of Formula 1 in a way that the other teams have done over the many years and have suffered over the many years, then we have to look at it.”

Toto Wolff: Teams in other sports can’t simply join a sport

Pointing to the examples of many other sporting organisations and championships, Wolff said it’s a situation unique to F1 that there’s a possibility of a new team just arriving straight into the top level of motorsport.

“There is no mature sports league in the world, whether it’s a national football championship, the Champions League, the NBA, the NFL, the NHL, where such a situation is possible by simply setting up a team and joining – thank you very much, drinking out of the prize fund,” he said.

“You have to qualify, you have to go through the ranks, showcase commitment to the championship, that we’ve done over the many years.

“If it’s creative, and what we’ve seen so far hasn’t convinced the teams, but we haven’t seen the applications and submissions that were made to the FIA and to Stefano and they will judge whether that is positive for Formula 1 or not.”

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