F1 News: Toto Wolff Setting the Bar High for Andretti Team to Enter Formula One
With a tweet from 1978 F1 world champion Mario Andretti, it was confirmed that Michael Andretti has submitted plans to start his own Formula 1 team. Already the owner of Andretti Autosport, an IndyCar team, Michael is now waiting for the FIA to confirm his spot on the F1 grid next to the likes of Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari, but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has some pessimistic advice for him.
F1 rules currently allow a maximum of 13 teams on the grid, but for 7 years now there’s only been ten. If this application is approved, then there will be 11 teams on the grid from 2024 with the newest being names Andretti Global.
But while we’d welcome another team into the series and the competition they’d bring, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has given his perspective on the move. And it’s safe to say he’s not feeling so optimistic for the potential team.
He told the press the following:
“10 teams are enough [for Formula 1]. More than that only dilutes the income.
“Every team that is joining needs to add value. It’s not only by paying a $200m entry fee, but it needs to demonstrate in my opinion what it can do for all the other teams and for Formula 1 and the FIA. Only then the sport will grow.
“We are the absolute pinnacle. This is the Champions League or the NFL. And redistributing franchises on the go is not how it should be. It’s not the intention of F1 and the FIA either. But if a real brand with good people, necessary funding, not only the $200m but probably you need more around $1bn if you want to play in this club straight from the get-go – then why not?”
A spokesperson from the FIA also gave fans what information they could:
“The FIA is not currently in a position to consider or comment on any expressions of interest or applications received from potential new entrant teams in respect to the FIA Formula 1 world championship.”
It’s fair to say Toto Wolff isn’t a fan of adding another team to the F1 roster, and has given Andretti a really high bar to think about before making the next steps. F1 is a game of money, we all know that, so if Andretti wants to race on the same clock as some of the most legendary racing teams in the world, they’ll need to get their chequebook out.