Formula 1 | Horner vs Andretti F1: No score for Red Bull

Until a few more weeks, Andretti’s entry into Formula 1 as the 11th team was supported only by McLaren and Alpine.

Has the tone changed since Andretti announced a partnership with Cadillac, a General Motors brand?

Yes, partly anyway, for example in Toto Wolff, one of the fiercest opponents of the Andretti project. This is how the manager of Mercedes described it “strong message” announcement of this partnership (see our article).

James Vowles, the new director of Williams F1, said to himself “It is open for the development of sports. »

Anti-dilution fund again at center of criticism

But looks can be deceiving: as we reported here, Formula 1 teams worry that the $200 million anti-dilution fund won’t be enough to offset the loss of revenue (Andretti has to pay that amount, the teams get $20 million each). The teams are said to be trying to triple this fund for the future – but so far the fund cannot be increased before the next signing of the Concord Accords until 2026.

Recall that the anti-dilution fund must compensate for the loss of revenue for the other teams (because the revenue will have to be distributed to 11 teams, not 10)…

The accounts for Christian Horner are not there

So it’s the anti-dilution fund that Christian Horner is targeting on his visit to Racer, and specifically its shortfall: the Red Bull boss fears his team will lose revenue without gaining much in return…

“Listen, Andretti is a great brand, a great team. Mario, what he has done in Formula 1 – also as an American – is fantastic. »

“Obviously, General Motors and Cadillac might be the two phenomenal brands in the sport, and I don’t think we can argue with that. »

“But as with all these things, the question is who will pay. And you can assume that the teams… if they’re paying for it – or lowering their fees to match it – of course it’s not going to be very well received by them. »

“If you introduce one or two more teams, you’re devaluing the current 10 franchises, while the teams — especially those at the bottom of the grid — have a very inflated intrinsic value right now. »

And Christian Horner offers Andretti a deal: why not buy the existing team, as Audi did with Sauber?

“I hope that a solution can be found. It would be more appropriate that they [Andretti] “Whether they could take over any of the existing teams or franchises, they are certainly two big brands that would be very, very welcome in Formula 1.”

“In the 18 years I’ve been involved, I’ve seen some teams come and go, and I think the last two years are the first time that all ten teams have a solid financial base. There are usually one or two teams that are bankrupt or on the verge of bankruptcy. All ten teams are in great form, partly due to the popularity of the sport, but also due to the budget cap and a total of ten tickets and ten franchises. »

“Formula 1 will be very conscious not to compromise its financial health if it does not want to risk having problems later on. »

When Christian Horner was told that the two teams welcomed Andretti’s arrival, Christian Horner replied that they put their own interests first.

“The two support teams (McLaren and Alpine) either have a partnership with them in the US or will supply them with an engine. Eight others say, ‘Wait, why should we reduce our revenue share?’ »

Horner votes for Domenicali

Horner thus logically takes up the cause of FOM and Stefano Domenicali, who are less impatient than Mohamed Ben Sulayem and the FIA ​​to add an 11th or even 12th team to F1. Many points of contention between FIA and FOM as we reported).

“On the other hand, the guys at Liberty Media are saying, ‘We’re not going to pay for it, we’re happy with 10 franchises that are operationally sound and competitive – garages, logistics, motorhomes – everything is easier to manage. »

“I am sure they will prefer the Audi model, where they will go in and acquire an existing franchise [Sauber]. »

Does he at least understand the position of Mohammed Ben Sulayem and the FIA?

“This point of view will be common to all teams – irrelevant. »

“As I said, it would be fantastic to have the Andretti and Cadillac brand and name in Formula 1 and I hope a solution can be found. »

“You can understand the FIA… they have no financial consequence because they are not involved in the prize money and if other teams come they will get an additional entry fee. So you can understand that the FIA ​​potentially wants more teams on the grid. »

Christian Horner is even threatening to drag things out until the next Concord Accord in 2026, when the anti-dilution fund could be renegotiated…

“But I think the FIA ​​needs to get together with the commercial rights holder and the 2026 Concorde Accords seems like the right place to address that. »

“It’s just that all parties need to have a reasonable conversation and agree on something practical and achievable. »

Will Horner want a reward?

So what does Christian Horner want? Does he want an exceptional bonus this time, an anti-dilution fund increase? It seems so…

“Like everything else, it’s all about money and I think there will be a tipping point. If the team’s revenue has been replaced by such a value that you haven’t lost money financially, then the question is, what is that number? And then, it will be forbidden for the newcomer? »

Again, the topic at the heart of the dispute is the same, that is, money!

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