Despite seemingly overcoming every possible obstacle to gaining a spot on the grid – including the payment of a $200 million entry fee – Andretti’s intent to enter F1 in 2025 as a new constructor has been continuously met with opposition since its plans were announced last year.
The main opposing factors against adding to the present 10-team grid – in place since Manor dropped off the roster at the end of 2016 – has been surrounding the argument the entry fee for new participants doesn’t reflect the rapid growth of the sport and would also dilute the share of the prize money the current crop receives.
Horner has been one of the more vocal figures throughout and presented a fresh argument ahead of the Miami weekend, citing the venue around the Hard Rock Stadium would struggle to house an 11th team and that many other circuits would be in the same predicament.
“Yeah, I think the issues remain the same as 12 months ago, both fiscally – what is the incentive for an existing team or franchise to accept an 11th entrant – and then ultimately, who pays? I mean, if it dilutes the income of the 10, it’s like turkeys voting for Christmas,” he said.
“Why would they do that? You know, are Liberty prepared to pay and fund an 11th team, are the FIA prepared to reduce their fees to help accommodate it? So, you know, there are all the financial aspects, but I think beyond that, as well is, with the way that the sport has now developed, if you look at the pit lane, for example, here or somewhere like Monaco, Zandvoort, or some of the circuits that we’re now racing at, where would we be able to accommodate an 11th team?
“I think that in itself, just operationally, where do we put the motorhomes? Where do we put the support? Where do the trucks go? I just think it would be an incredibly difficult thing to be accommodated with the way that the sport has currently evolved as well.”
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff, also present in the Friday press conference, reaffirmed his stance that any new entry must bring added value to the sport.
“First of all, we have no say in this,” he underlined. “If we’re being asked… Our opinion is being asked. But we’re not part of the process of choosing a team or not.
“The opinion that we have expressed is that it’s very difficult in Formula 1 to perform. It has taken us many years to be where we are.
“We’ve gone through really difficult times where Formula 1 wasn’t the blockbuster it is today, and therefore whoever enters the sport, I think it would be beneficial for all of us if they can really bring something new to the show, if it can help us to increase our audiences or if there is lots of marketing dollars that are being invested, similar to what we have done over the years.
“Red Bull and Mercedes, sitting here, I mean, hundreds of millions. And if that were the case, I think we need to be all open-minded and say how can we contribute to making that happen?
“But again, we’re not part of the governance,” he continued. “And so I would very much hope that we find someone, if we decided to go for another team, that somebody can really leverage what we have today and make it even greater.”