Formula 1 | Criticized by Formula 1 teams, the anti-dilution fund will soon be tripled?

Although the possibility of Andretti coming to F1 has increased in recent days, especially with the announcement of a partnership with Cadillac, the American team continues to face resistance from F1 teams (with the exception of Alpine and McLaren). condemned (see our article).

Teams are especially afraid of a decrease in their income, because the pie to be divided between them will be divided into 11 parts instead of 10.

However, to mitigate this revenue loss, the 2020 Concord Agreements included the introduction of an anti-dilution fund. A new entrant must pay $200 million to register in F1. This amount is then shared with the other teams and each receives $20 million.

But this amount determined in 2020 is not considered enough by most of the teams. Moreover, the loss of income is only a one-time payment, albeit on an annual basis.

“We don’t need to welcome a new team, jeopardize two or three teams in the network” So Frédéric Vasseur, then at Alfa Romeo, was released last May.

Günter Steiner put the terms of the debate in Haas as follows: “If an 11th team comes in and they make, say, 10% more, why not? But if the eleventh team comes in and takes an eleventh of the current revenue, do you reduce everyone else’s revenue? Why would you do that? »

Is the revenue growth argument barely heard by the teams?

However, Michael Andretti has other arguments for F1 teams. He regularly reminds them to resonate with the flow, not the reserve: it’s clear that Andretti will increase the size of the revenue pie to be shared by allowing him to participate in the growth of the sport in the US. So the loss of revenue for the other 10 teams will be well mitigated by this increase.

“I try to remind them that there are 350 million people in this country, and yes, there’s been an increase in interest in Drive to Survive here, but they shouldn’t be satisfied with what they have… They’re sure that the American public now. But you need something to store them for the future. And we think we can be something so compelling.” Michael Andretti, who spoke on this issue last July, called out to other team leaders.

The interpretation of the added value that Andretti can bring to F1 will undoubtedly depend on the actual involvement of Cadillac and therefore General Motors. Will it be a cosmetic commitment like Alfa Romeo did with Sauber? A clearer presence? Andretti will obviously have other arguments on his side if America’s largest manufacturer makes a permanent investment.

Michael Andretti has already started to raise his voice and reassure on this issue “Cadillac will be heavily involved in the production of the car. (…) There are various things we can do with another engine manufacturer for 2026. It wouldn’t be a branded engine because that engine would have Cadillac intellectual property. »

What must be answered by those who believe that Andretti will be a simple customer team that changes the Renault power unit purely cosmetically.

But – team principals might argue – F1 is already doing enough to grow the sport in the US with Grands Prix in Austin, Miami and now Las Vegas. So the addition of the American team would be less important …

Not just financial, but political decline?

But aren’t all these financial arguments hiding something a little less respectable?

Indeed, Michael Andretti has said in the past that most team conflicts do not have their first source in the area of ​​budgets… reducing revenue would actually be a mask, a hypocritical excuse for another “argument”.

Speaking at the same time about Toto Wolff in particular, Andretti felt that the political argument was actually more important than the financial argument.

“Toto Wolff is using it [la dilution] as an excuse. But you see him looking at it and thinking, “I’m going to have a little bit of a voice.” It’s going to be another vote against me,” he sees. I knew full well what we were dealing with here. You’re swimming with sharks. So make sure you have your harpoon on you. I’m “not naive about this.” thus hurt Andretti last summer.

Towards a tripling of the anti-dilution fund?

One thing is clear: since the current Concord Accords are in place until 2026, the anti-dilution fund will not act immediately.

But for the future, and according to Reuters and several reports in the British media, the F1 teams burned by the previous Andretti will consider it necessary to triple the fund to $500 or $600 million.

It would also be the amount Audi paid to partner with Sauber for the F1 project. After all, if F1 had 11 or 12 teams instead of 10 in a few years, this trio would be even more necessary!

Another argument in favor of this tripling of the fund: MLS (American football) and NHL (ice hockey) have set their entrance tickets at an astronomical amount of 325 million and 650 million dollars, respectively.

The current 10 F1 teams would also like to better account for inflation, as well as the general increase in F1 team valuations (McLaren Racing CEO Zach Brown estimated that the F1 team would soon be worth a billion).

By having to pay such a sum, a newcomer to F1 would eventually be “forced” to stay in the sport for longer – thus avoiding a departure that would undermine the stability of the discipline and allowing the infrastructure to be built over a long period of time. duration.

All in all, the battle between Andretti and the F1 teams may have just begun and could have long-lasting effects on the sport. No one will be surprised: F1 is not a herd of lambs and everyone will defend their interests…

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