Amidst the ongoing debate surrounding the potential addition of an 11th team to Formula 1, McLaren Racing chief executive Zak Brown stands as a rare voice of support for Andretti-Cadillac’s entry bid.
Brown believes that an expansion of the grid would bring substantial benefits to the sport, citing increased global viewership, broader fan engagement, and a more competitive racing environment.
Despite Andretti’s acquisition of FIA approval in October, the team’s path to F1 remains uncertain due to resistance from Formula 1 itself and from a amajority of the sport’s constituents.
These concerns stem from the potential dilution of team revenue and the perceived challenges in accommodating an additional competitor.
In an effort to assuage these concerns, Andretti’s partnership with Cadillac has gained further traction, with the American manufacturer’s plan to become an engine supplier from the 2028 season which could provide a significant boost to Andretti’s F1 aspirations.
The addition of a new engine supplier could also introduce fresh dynamics and rivalries to the sport.
- Read also: F1 teams still unconvinced by Andretti bid despite GM engine plans
As the debate surrounding Andretti-Cadillac’s entry intensifies, Brown’s support carries weight, as he brings a strategic perspective and a deep understanding of the sport.
The American – who is well acquainted with the Andretti family and a partner in the Walkinshaw Andretti United Super Cars team – gave a comprehensive run-down of the “pros and cons” of F1 accepting Andretti-Cadillac in its ranks.
“The pros is they can help grow the pie,” Brown explained, speaking on the Track Limits podcast.
“That pie can be fans, first and foremost; that can be television revenue; that could be increased exposure in a certain market that helps to bring in more sponsors; excitement on the racetrack.
“The downside is if the pie doesn’t get larger, and then you’re just divvying up the same-sized pie, and that’s where I think the majority of the teams are.”
Andretti has yet to engage in talks with Formula 1. Last month, Grand Prix racing’s boss Stefano Domenicali suggested that it would take its time to properly assess Andretti’s candidature, adding that it was in no hurry to make a call on the American outfit’s fate.
“There is a process on the commercial side on that respect and when we are ready, we will give the answer,” said Domenciali.
“We don’t feel any pressure on that. We need to do the right job, that’s our duty.”
Until a clear proposition from the American outfit is tabled, one can only speculate as to the outcome of he negotiations.
“I think all of us are not that informed on what the actual proposal is, so everyone is running around with an opinion,” Brown. “I’ve not seen specifically what’s on the table.
“My view is as long as it’s additive to the sport – brings in more fans, brings in more revenue, brings in better television contracts, whatever that may be – if it makes the pie larger I’d rather have one 11th of a pie that’s 1,000 times than one tenth of one that’s 100 times.
“But ultimately the teams don’t have a vote in the matter, so we just need to be dependent upon Formula 1 and the FIA to make that decision as to whether they feel it’s additive.
“I think everyone has an opinion, but not anyone is that educated on actually what the proposition is.”
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