With interest in Formula 1 growing year by year, Zak Brown believes it is not long before the teams will begin to be valued in the billions.
The subject of worth in Formula 1 has been a popular one over the winter break both in terms of the sport itself and the teams that currently make up the grid.
The value of F1 was brought into focus when reports emerged of a $20 billion takeover bid by Saudi Arabia for the sport’s commercial arm which was described as “inflated” by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, a comment that drew the Emirarti the ire of Liberty Media, the current owners of F1.
But the teams’ values have also been brought into question with more and more potential constructors wanting to secure a place on the grid.
Andretti’s interest to be on the grid has been met with a lukewarm response from the majority of the current 10 occupants with many arguing that the current $200 million dilution fund no longer represents the market value.
That figure was agreed during negotiations for the current Concorde Agreement but with a new deal set to be negotiated in 2025, there has already been early politicking to raise some issues such as the dilution fund.
Mercedes’ Toto Wolff suggested last year that the cost of a new Formula 1 team is $1 billion and McLaren’s Brown, one of the few in favour of Andretti’s plans, has said that it will not be long before teams are valued in the billions, if that has not already happened.
“I’ve not really spoken with other teams about it,” Brown told media including PlanetF1.com of the dilution fund. “It will be a topic of this upcoming FIA commission meeting, we’ve been sent the agenda and new teams is a topic.
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“I think it’s ultimately up to Formula 1 and the FIA to decide what’s an appropriate fee. I think when we came up with the fee, almost five years ago now, Formula 1 was in a totally different place. So I think they need to land on what they feel is appropriate and make sure it’s good value for money.
“I mean, these franchises are worth quite a bit of money so it’s an investment, as opposed to a fee, because these franchises, if not already, will certainly be worth billions in the not too distant future like other major sports.”
Brown is however confident about the direction F1 is going in despite a particularly frosty winter in terms of the relationship between the FIA and F1. Those tensions appeared to be cooled after Ben Sulayem announced his intention to step away from the day-to-day running of F1.
“I’m not concerned,” Brown said of the FIA/F1 conflict. “I think the FIA and Formula 1 are on a good trajectory.
“Because I do think the FIA and Formula 1 work in what they feel is the best interest of the sport. So they’re both very well intended.
“Obviously, there’s been some friction of late but that seems to me to have cooled down and things are back on track.”