Many teams eager to enter F1, says Domenicali

17/04/2023
NEWS STORY

F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali claims that there are many new teams expressing an interest to enter the sport, whilst admitting that the anti-dilution payment will need to rise significantly.

His claim comes at a time at least three prospective teams are known to have expressed an interest and Hong Kong billionaire, Calvin Lo says that he is in talks with a number of others.

"Today, there's so many that would like to come," said Domenicali during a conference call with investors. "There are teams that are more vocal than others, some of them are much more silent, but they are really expressing their interest.

"As always in life someone has to make that evaluation," he added. "We're part of this process, and we're going to do the right thing at the appropriate time through this year."

However, the Italian admitted that the current anti-dilution fee of $200m is expected to increase significantly, with the teams understood to be demanding as much as $600m, which would be split among the existing outfits.

"The process of having another team has been launched by the FIA," said Domenicali. "In our governance, in our Concorde, there's a possibility to do it. But the evaluation has to be done together to see from the technical perspective, from the sporting perspective, for the financial stability, and to make the bigger picture, if a new team will give value to the league, to the sport. And there will be a different position.

"The so-called anti-dilution payment was done at $200 million just a couple of years ago, because at that time no one would have expected that the value of this business would rise up so much.

"Today the situation is totally different, and it's our duty to make sure that we protect the business the best way that we can, and have a bigger picture."

"Manor was the 11th team," interjected Liberty Media CEO, Greg Maffei. "And just before we bought into F1 it went into administration and got sold for 1. The world has changed dramatically."

Agreement on the anti-dilution fee will form a large part of the new Concorde Agreement, the agreement that essentially holds the commercial aspects of F1 together. The existing Concorde runs until 2025, having finally been agreed in 2021, however Maffei is confident everything will be in place before then.

"Stefano and I were talking about it this morning, what we might want and when to go," said the American. "We think it is in everybody's interest, the teams' and ours and the FIA's, to solidify the success we collectively have had and show the world that we're together, moving forward.

"But I don't think this is going to go to the end the way prior ones have done," he added.

Other than COVID, agreement on the budget cap and prize money distribution caused a long delay to the current agreement.

However, with these issues long settled and the sport enjoying a boom, Domenicali believes it is in everyone's best interest to sign up and concentrate on improving the show.

"If you think back, more than two, less than five teams were asking for loans from Formula 1 to stay alive and to survive and to make sure they were participants in the Grands Prix," he said. "Today, with the things that we've done, the season's very healthy, very sustainable financially, and this has given value to our business. That's already something that has been recognised by all the teams.

"So at the proper time, we're going to sit around the table, the teams will understand what we brought for them, and we will understand what we believe will be the right strategy to tackle that."

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Published: 17/04/2023
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