new f1 teams barriers haas team

The Stumbling Block Of New F1 Teams Barriers

So, let’s leave the emotions and take a closer look at the new F1 teams appearing to find that stumbling block of the barriers holding them back.

Imagine yourself as the owner of the ten fastest racing teams in the world. These bringing you billions of dollars and attracting an audience of millions of people worldwide. What does the eleventh team need to get into the grid of the world of high stakes, speed, precision, and innovation? Money, a car, and people, right? However, what if they already have a stunning budget, a fast racing car, talented people, and long-term guarantees on the board? Congrats, you’re in, you may say.

Unfortunately, that is what is just what perfection is. Michael Andretti’s application, which has been rejected multiple times, is a suitable example of the above. As a fan of Formula 1, I also found myself frustrated with it. However, upon further examination, I discovered a few details that made the problem not as apparent as it initially appeared.

The Closed Circle: Sacral Meaning Of Ten Teams In Formula 1

The FIA Formula 1 regulations allow for 26 participating drivers. There are 13 teams. Therefore, more racers will not be able to meet the deadline for qualifying time. Although there is no sacred meaning behind the ten, the number of teams in Formula 1 has not changed since 2017. Despite attempts, only two have successfully integrated into the sport in the last fifteen years: Haas and Aston Martin. 

However, these cases are not about introducing entirely new brands. Whether it’s Haas or Aston Martin, their stories started with buying the remains of an old team and rebranding it. Haas bought Marussia and debuted in 2016. Aston Martin, previously Racing Point, was founded after its owner bought Sahara Force India in 2018. Even the Red Bull story started with Jaguar racing.  

Building a brand new team from zero is a partly impossible task, even though the FIA Formula 1 governing body has facilitated the regulations for new participants.

It aims to create rules that equalize new and old teams. They introduce budget restrictions, aero-testing time limits, and a cost cap to narrow the gap between participants. 

Furthermore, the new team doesn’t even need its factory to comply with technical regulations as it can rely on the current engine supplier. 

Gathering all of these measures means that the FIA is interested in adding more teams. It’s evident that watching 22 or 24 drivers racing in Formula 1 is more fun than just 20. 

f1 teams williams
E娅75.jpg” by /the_game is licensed under CC BY-SA 2

What Are The Advantages Of Having More Participants?

Surefire, the increasing number of drivers ensures the sport will be more exciting and thrilling for fans as it maintains its high-octane tension.

As for the drivers, we have talented drivers who never even got a chance, such as Robert Shwartzman, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Felipe Drugovich, and Oliver Bearman. 

I have nothing against intense competition in Formula 1 that forces racers to be switched quickly, such as Nyck de Vries leaving Racing Bulls (Visa Cash App RB). I’m sure that, as a sport, Formula 1 is like natural selection for talent, where only the best take their places. However, this process has been delayed due to only the twelve seats.

As for business overall, joining Formula 1 looks very promising because bringing new markets improves the financial side of the sport, launching new investments and promotional campaigns. 

So, with having more teams, the fans get new thrills, drivers – chances, the teams – glory, while Formula 1 – new investments. Seems to be very convincing, right? 

However, the FIA is only the governing body of the discipline. So, outside the regulations, Formula 1 is followed by its owner – Liberty Media, who also has rules of play. It is the focal point where the win-win option doesn’t work because of the additional barriers and extra terms.  

formula 1 new teams and barriers to enter Formula 1 Andretti
File:António Félix da Costa (Andretti Formula E) at 2017 Berlin ePrix.jpg” by KAgamemnon is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The New F1 Teams Barriers: Why Has Formula 1 Rejected Andretti’s Bid?

Simply put, it’s about the disadvantages that Formula 1 will incur. Again, in my opinion, the FIA and Formula 1 have different perspectives on the issue. 

If you look at the official statement that Andretti’s team received regarding their entry bid for the 2025 season, you’ll find that the FIA is satisfied, while Formula 1 is not, due to the additional rules. So, what rules does Andretti’s team violate? 

#1. No value, No Benefits

So, Articles 9, 14, and 16 repeat themselves. These state the same thing – the value and benefits that the Formula 1 championship will have if Andretti’s team joins. 

So, they’re sure that Andretti Global, which is much more, compared with Haas and Aston Martin, a world-famous brand that has recommended itself in many different disciplines such as Formula E and Indycar and has a sustained fan base, doesn’t bring value? At first sight, it seems far unlogical. 

Along with the value, the FIA Formula 1 is clear. They say Andretti cannot be the winning team fast enough to take podiums and even race wins immediately. 

On the other hand, the Williams and Haas teams on the current grid have been struggling over the years for podiums, and they’re still far from success. 

To Play This Out Logically

So, in the FIA Formula 1’s opinion, it is not a win-win option, while Andretti Global is the only one to benefit. It sounds weird. However, let’s think about it from the other perspective.

Haas and Williams weren’t brand-new teams, as we mentioned above. Andretti claims to be, in some terms, a ‘self-made,’ irresistible from others and the past. This way, it would be correct to compare the team with such racing giants as BMW, Toyota, Mercedes, Ferrari, or McLaren and their value for the championship. 

Do you feel the difference in terms? 

As for Andretti’s competitiveness, the championship awaits the team to be a worthy rival against the big three of Formula 1: Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes.  

As for the Red Bull, it took five years to win the constructor championship since its debut in 2005. Is it long or short? 

Perhaps, at that time, it was enough, as the team was very perspective. Since the regulations and policies in Formula 1 have changed, five years is too long.

Michael Andretti’s project is very ambitious. Despite his racing heritage, without a connection to the current Formula 1 racing scene, he has nothing to counter today’s dominant power. 

Therefore, another two drivers in the midfield are not what the FIA Formula 1 or Liberty Media is interested in.

#2. A Significant Challenge For Newcomers in Formula 1

Frankly speaking, the gradual integration of Andretti’s approach into this sport is very professional. Furthermore, bringing a new brand, General Motors (GM), to Formula 1 is more than a great deal to offer. However, Article 10 of the official statement claims that the association with GM, who, as expected in 2028, will be the power unit supplier, is also not compliant. 

What’s wrong at this time, you may ask? The regulations change for the 2026 season. To be successful in 2025, the team has to use the power units from the supplier while switching to GM’s units ‘would be seen as a risk to its intellectual property and know-how,’ as they point out in Article 11

Even plans to debut for the 2026 season with GM engines are still overly ambitious for General Motors, which hasn’t experienced Formula 1. As for experiences, there haven’t been any new constructors that have been successful in the last several decades.  

Wouldn’t it be more beneficial for Andretti to sign a contract with one of the current power unit suppliers? 

#3. No Commercial Spaces Of The Other Competitors

Many expert sources, like The Race, refer to this point as the main reason for rejection. However, I think it is one of many. Article 17 says: ‘The addition of an 11th team would place an operational burden on race promoters, would subject some of them to significant costs, and would reduce the technical, operational and commercial spaces of the other competitors.’

Many expert sources, like The Race, refer to this point as the main reason for rejection. However, I think it is one of many. Article 17 says that an 11th team would subject some of them to significant costs and reduce other competitors’ technical, operational, and commercial spaces.

In short, it means that getting a place on the grid of Formula 1 costs about $200 million. It is not the entry fee but the foundation that is split among ten teams. This statement is all about more teams receiving less.

The Different Opinion: The Flexible Conditions

It is the only point I cannot agree with because Formula 1 participants have more freedom in terms of money than in the technical regulations. 

The money fully ties this system. Therefore, it works on very flexible conditions, including not being eligible for prize points for weak or new teams like it was with Haas in the year of their debut.

After all, Formula 1 is a business that grows by over 15% yearly. So, with finishing the previous year with a record revenue of $3.2 billion, they could change Article 17 if desired.

Any Prospects?

So, the Andretti team appearing in Formula 1 is being held back by four crucial barriers. 

First, Michael Andretti chose the hard path. He decided to create a ‘self-made’ American F1 team from scratch, instead of buying one of the existing ones, like Audi, which plans to debut in the sport by partnering with Sauber (Stake, Alfa-Romeo).

Secondly, he enters such a global sport on his terms, bringing General Motors as a power unit supplier. 

Third, in this way, he faces the challenge of competing against old and big Formula 1 names: Ferrari, Red Bull, and Mercedes. 

Fourth, the decision to apply a new team meets no better time, as the entire motorsport stands on the edge of a crucial regulatory switch for more ecological technologies. 

Everything from the official statement is the rest of the story.

However, do not think that Michael Andretti’s dream never comes true. He is stubborn in the best way, following the right strategy. 

Therefore, I’m sure his new and 11th crew will start at the Formula 1 grid, but later – in the 2027 season. Partly, Article 20 proves the above.

Takeaways

 We’ve been watching three significant barriers new teams face to get into Formula 1 in the past three decades. They need a development base, talented personnel, fast race cars, and a stunning budget. 

However, time passes, and the rules are changed. So, despite the FIA governing body welcoming newcomers by streamlining the requirements, Formula 1 is regulated by its owner – Liberty Media. As a very profitable business owner, they set their own rules. Therefore, currently, there are two options to take a place on the grid. 

To buy an old team is the most popular decision, followed by Haas, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, Audi, and even Red Bull. Another way is to build your team from scratch, which Michael Andretti decided to do. 

Andretti chose the most challenging way. He comes on his terms – a new brand, a new power unit supplier, and an American drivers’ base. And there is where the barriers for new Formula 1 teams become formidable. Thus, such requirements as brand value, high competitiveness, super wealth, and even the benefits for the entire championship come as the stumbling block. 

formula 1 new teams entry problems explained
Formula 1 Grand Prix” by david.orban is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Instead Of Conclusion 

No one can doubt that Andretti Global’s brand meets each point of FIA Formula 1 requirements, compared to the currently lagging Williams or Haas. But, if you compare the new team with Ferrari or Mercedes, the perspective drops back.   

However, neither Mario Andretti nor General Motors is to be scared by such an approach. There is no other way than to see fresh faces and names soon, which finally cope with all these barriers. At least Formula 1 is for those who never stop believing and making their dreams come true.

So, the challenges Andretti and GM have to pass will bring them millions of new fans.  

A final question, however, is whether Andretti and General Motors will reap any benefits from racing in F1, with getting world fame and a substantial fanbase after coping with the stumbling block.

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