No 'pressing need' for F1 to add 11th team says Liberty

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Amid Michael Andretti's efforts to join F1's grid, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei sees no "pressing need" for the sport 1 to boost its ranks.

Andretti is moving forward with his plans to field a second American team in F1 while waiting for the FIA to issue a formal opinion on its initiative.

In Miami, Andretti said initial talks with the governing body and its president, Mohammed ben Sulayem, as well as with F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali had yielded encouraging signs.

"We finally have some direction," the former driver told AP. "It’s the first time we’ve been given any direction on how to make this happen."

F1's current outfits have argued that adding another competitor to the grid would impact each team's share of the sport's revenue.

However, a $200 million anti-dilution fee to be shared among the sport's ten teams, and which Andretti is willing to pay, exists to temporarily cover what the teams would lose by accepting a smaller slice of F1's prize money.

But Liberty boss Greg Maffei remains unconvinced of the benefits for F1 of welcoming an eleventh team into its ranks, or adding another "franchise".

"Historically there has been as many as 15 or 20 teams on the grid," he told Bloomberg. "It got down to 10 right when we entered the sport.

"Manor, which was the 11th team, went into receivership in the UK, went into bankruptcy and got sold for a pound.

"Now the bottom team, because they’re all locked in as franchises, is worth $400 million minimum, maybe more. And I think you’re seeing numbers discussed as much as $1 billion for a team or $2 billion for a team. That attracted investment, that attracted interest."

Maffei suggests that F1's commercial rights holder isn't against adding another team, but the American executive just doesn't see it happening in the near future.
"There is a potential that we may increase the teams over time," he said. "I don’t think it’s a pressing need.

"There are a lot of people who would like us to do it. Most of them want to buy in, but we haven’t felt that need."

Maffei also argued that adding another outfit could lead to various logistical issues.

"The paddocks, the garages, there’s some places that really don’t have more than 10 garages," he explained.

"So their challenge is literally around the dynamics of putting an 11th team on the track."

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