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Saturday, June 22, 2024

F1 May Settle $1B Expansion Process Ahead Of U.S. Races

  • The president of the FIA wants to decide on potential expansion within weeks.
  • Michael Andretti could partner with Cadillac to be part of a new team.
Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen and the AlphaTauri team
David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Expansion within Formula 1 has been a topic all year long, but the matter could be settled by the time the series returns to the States for October’s U.S. Grand Prix and the inaugural Las Vegas GP the following month.

Influential American racing figure Michael Andretti has shown heavy interest in starting an F1 team via a partnership with Cadillac, while the U.K. racing group Hitech is also seen as a major player for expansion.

Recent comments from FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem suggest a resolution will be reached soon. “I think the final decision will be made within four-to-six weeks,” said Ben Sulayem, whose organization governs F1 and other racings bodies.

The current 10 F1 teams could stand to split more than $1 billion if two expansion teams are approved. The FIA originally set an expansion fee of $200 million per team, but F1’s recent popularity growth could push that figure past $600 million.

Last month, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali pushed back on the need to expand beyond 10 teams and said takeover offers surpassing $1 billion were being turned down. 

Adding two new teams would take the F1 grid to 24 cars — its highest figure since 2016, which fielded 11 teams and 22 cars. The maximum number of cars allowed by the FIA for an F1 race is 26.

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