True cost of Andretti arrival revealed as potential $600m deal softens blow

Michelle Foster
Mohammed Ben Sulayem on the grid with Michael Andretti.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem talks to Michael Andretti.

The FIA’s decision to approve Andretti for a spot on the Formula 1 grid as the 11th team could, according to Karun Chandhok’s sources, cost the existing team’s “$11 million per year”.

After more than a year of vying for a spot on the Formula 1 grid, Michael Andretti’s team has passed the first test, the only one of four applicants to meet the FIA’s criteria.

The FIA not only assessed the team’s sporting and technical ability but also their finances and whether they’d have the backing to compete at a sustained competitive level.

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But that was just the first part of Andretti’s application with Formula One Management set to have the final say.

And already it is fair to say the tone is very negative with the majority of the team bosses against an 11th team. That largely is because of money.

Under Formula 1’s current Concorde Agreement, every team on the grid receives a slice of the prize-winning pot whereas in yesteryear it was only the top team.

That, according to former F1 driver turned pundit Chandhok, could cost the teams an estimated $11 million per year.

However, the former HRT driver points out this could be made up by increasing the anti-dilution fund with suggestions earlier this year that it could be tripled from $200 million to $600m.

Reacting to the FIA’s announcement about Andretti, Chandhok wrote on X: “Would like to see them on the grid! More cars is good for F1 & young drivers.

“Told by one TP that existing teams would lose $11 million per year by slicing the pie 11 ways.

“If Andretti are willing to put in the $600 million to compensate the teams, that covers them for five years.” recommends

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However, the $600 million is, for now, a conversation and not a done deal with the idea touted by never agreed upon.

As such Red Bull team boss Christian Horner fears it is the teams who are going to pay the price for an 11th team while the FIA benefits from the increased grid.

“I think the key question, though, is who is going to pay because if the teams are asked to pay for it, that is going to become a problem amongst the 10 teams,” he said.

“I’d be amazed if all of the teams…of course, there are two teams that are agreeing to it at the moment, one happens to be a partner of Andretti in IndyCar [McLaren] and the other is likely to be supplying an engine [Alpine], so it’s obvious why they would support it.

“But I think for the other eight, the question will be if it comes out of the percentage of prize fund that the 10 teams are currently dependent on.”

He went onto say it’s easier for the FIA to say yes to an 11th team as they aren’t the ones losing money.

“You can understand the FIA, they’ve got no financial consequence of this because they don’t participate in the prize fund, and they’d receive further entry fees for more teams coming in,” he said.

“So you can understand the FIA potentially wanting more teams on the grid. But I think they need to find alignment with the commercial rights holder, and the 2026 Concorde Agreement would seem the right place to deal with that.

“It just needs all parties to have a sensible conversation and agree something that is practical and workable.”

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