Formula 1

FIA Chief Stresses the Balance Between More F1 Teams and Fewer Races

In a significant turn of events, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem vocalized his preference for increasing F1 teams while advocating for a reduced number of races. This statement aligns with the FIA’s recent approval of Andretti’s F1 entry, highlighting a shift in focus towards team diversity over an expanding race calendar.

Key Takeaways:

  • Approval for More Teams: The FIA, under Ben Sulayem’s leadership, supports the expansion of F1 teams to the maximum of 12 as outlined in the rules. This move aims to diversify the grid with teams from various countries and their OEMs, enhancing global representation in the sport.
  • Economic Concerns: Despite the sport’s success, existing F1 teams are wary of the $200m anti-dilution fee required for new entries. They fear this could dilute the prize fund, voicing concerns about the financial implications, especially considering the past and present economic challenges.
  • Race Calendar vs. Team Numbers: The FIA president views the increasing number of races – a record 24 scheduled for next season – as a more pressing issue than the number of teams. This perspective shifts the focus to the physical and logistical challenges faced by teams and drivers due to the packed race schedule.

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s recent remarks have stirred discussions in the Formula 1 community. He emphasized the importance of introducing more teams into Formula 1, particularly focusing on the involvement of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). In his words to BBC Sport, Ben Sulayem stated, “The FIA should be asking, begging, OEMs to come in. We should not just say no to them.” His vision is for a championship that not only fills all available team slots but also represents a diverse range of manufacturers and talents from across the globe.

However, this push for expansion is met with palpable tension. The financial stability of existing teams is a major concern, especially with the implementation of a hefty anti-dilution fee and budget cap. Smaller teams, despite being allowed larger infrastructural spending, are hesitant to welcome new entrants, citing economic reasons.

In a compelling statement, Ben Sulayem addressed these concerns, highlighting the capacity for 12 teams as per the rules. He challenged the notion of overcrowding, emphasizing that the championship, owned by the FIA, can accommodate more teams. Contrary to some teams’ views, he believes the number of races, not teams, is the pressing issue. He remarked, “We are allowed to have 12 teams [in the rules]. Some of the teams said ‘Oh, it will be crowded’. Really? We are already running a Hollywood team with us. The circuits are supposed to have enough garages and space for 12 teams. I think the number of races is too much [rather] than the number of teams. We need more teams and fewer races.”

Ben Sulayem also acknowledged the teams’ financial concerns but pointed out that the FIA’s concerns differ, focusing on the broader health and sustainability of the sport. The debate continues as the F1 calendar approaches a record 24 races next season, raising questions about the endurance and well-being of the drivers and team staff, alongside logistical and financial considerations.

Related Articles

Back to top button