McLaren supremo Zak Brown is worried former team driver Michael Andretti’s bid to bring a new team into Formula 1 could be “dead”.
Andretti Autosport is a big name not only in US-based motor racing but globally, including in the all-electric Formula 1 series.
However, Formula 1 and the FIA appear reluctant to simply green light an Andretti F1 team. Some teams including Mercedes are worried predominantly about the dilution of the sport’s income even though the bid would accompany a $200 million fee.
When asked by Sports Business Journal if the Andretti bid is “dead”, McLaren chief executive Brown answered: “I hope it’s not dead. I don’t think it’s dead.
“But it certainly seems like it’s meeting a lot of resistance.”
He admits that the issue could be resolved if Andretti agrees to pay a sum higher than the nominal $200 million, given that the sport is rising in popularity and success.
“I wouldn’t want to comment on what I think the right number is, but what I would say is the value of an F1 franchise from when the Concorde Agreement was signed to now – it’s grown rapidly,” said Brown.
“Ultimately, it’s up to F1 to decide what the right number to buy in is, but what an F1 team was worth three years ago – it’s significantly more today.”
Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer admits there are “pros and cons” to an eleventh team in F1.
“But Andretti is a big name in motorsport, and absolutely a big name in American motorsport. We’re having more races in the US now and I think a team like Andretti could perhaps make the entire revenue pie bigger.”