The F1 grid has grown to 10 teams since Team Manor collapsed at the end of the 2016 season, but the series has seen a major commercial boom in the meantime.
This has led to a number of parties publicly expressing their desire to join the F1 grid, the most notable being Andretti Global, led by Michael Andretti.
So far, the FIA has made no public indication that it will seek to assess potential new teams through a tendering process, leaving the grid set at 10 teams for the foreseeable future.
But in a tweet sent from his official account on Monday, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem revealed he was speaking to his team about launching the process to allow new teams to join the grid.
“I have asked my FIA team to consider initiating a process for expressions of interest for potential new teams for the FIA F1 World Championship,” the tweet read.
The start of a formal process could pave the way for an interested party such as Andretti to join the F1 grid in the future, although there are still a number of hurdles to negotiate for any successful candidate.
Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport
Photo by: Alexandre Trienitz
Andretti’s efforts to enter the grid have so far hit a brick wall amid uncertainty from many existing teams who believe it would benefit the whole of F1 commercially. Only McLaren and Alpine have publicly declared their support for Andretti’s plans.
Under the existing Concorde deal, signed in 2020, teams have defined the distribution of prize money awarded from F1 revenue in 10 ways, meaning the addition of an 11th team could reduce their piece of the pie.
To combat this, a dilution fund was written into the Concorde deal that would require any new entrants to pay $200 million to join the grid, which would be split among the other teams.
Andretti said he was willing to pay the fee to get his F1 operation up and running, but many expressed doubts that this would be enough to make up for any lost revenue.
“The dilution fund was created a few years ago when the value of Formula 1 was different,” Haas F1 chief Gunther Steiner said in June.
“I think one of the things will be whether we have to readjust it to the current market rate, which is a lot more than that. But I think it’s a very difficult process to do.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said in May that any new team would have to prove they could be ‘accelerative’ to the overall value of F1.
“If a team is coming, how can you demonstrate that you’re making more money than it actually costs?” he said. “Because the 11th team means a 10% dilution for everyone else.”