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Stroll: ‘The sport has never been in a better place’, amidst potential arrival of 11th F1 team

Aston Martin Executive Chairman, Lawrence Stroll, has shared his views on the potential expansion of the F1 paddock to include an 11th team

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Lawrence Stroll has questioned the arrival of American team Andretti Motorsport to the F1 grid, claiming: “If it ain’t broke, you don’t need to fix it.”

Stroll Andretti F1 Aston Martin FIA
When they line up for the 2024 season-opener, Haas will be the only new team to join F1 since 2000 to last more than eight seasons. (Image Credit: @HaasF1Team on X)

But the Canadian did admit that the sport has seen continued growth in the US market – something that would surely be aided further by the presence of Andretti in the F1 paddock.

The American racing giant’s application to join Formula 1 has caused a stir amongst the existing teams for some time. The general consensus is that any new outfit would reduce their revenue, and they don’t feel the current anti-dilution entry fee of $200m remains sufficient.

Whilst there has been talk of this figure being increased in the future, the teams want amendments to the current Concorde Agreement. Even if that were to happen, it is unclear if that would be enough to attain their blessings.

Now that Andretti’s application has been formally approved by the FIA, it’s over to Formula One Management (FOM) to decide if they want to expand the current grid.

The F1 teams themselves do not have the power to prevent Andretti from gaining admission, but as key stakeholders to FOM, they will undoubtedly have their views considered in the final decision.

How many teams are too many?

The last time the sport saw 11 teams lined up on the grid was back in 2016. Despite Haas joining the paddock at the start of the season, the departure of Manor Racing (formally Marussia) at the end of the year reduced the field back down to 10 constructors.

However, the arrival of a new team on the grid doesn’t always lead to success; out of the six brand-new teams that have joined the paddock since 2000, only one still exists, Haas.

What has become increasingly common, though, is for existing teams to change ownership. This was Lawrence Stroll’s route into the sport when he led the consortium that bought Force India from disgraced businessman Vijay Mallya in 2018. He soon rebranded the team Racing Point, before they became Aston Martin ahead of the 2021 F1 season.

Speaking at Aston Martin’s World Endurance Championship car launch, Stroll addressed his concerns regarding adding an 11th team while stating that he believes Formula 1 should continue with 10 teams.

Stroll said: “I think F1, at the moment, the business is on fire, the sport has never been in a better place, and I believe if it isn’t broken, you don’t need to fix it.

“So, I’m a strong believer that it’s working really well with 10 teams right now and believe that’s the way it should stay.”

The rising American F1 fan base

With Haas not operating completely out of the United States, it is understood that Andretti would, with the team set to be based in Indiana, which is their current home.

F1 viewership in the US has increased by 123.8% since 2018, leading to the arrival of two more races in the United States. More recently, Logan Sargeant has become the first American driver to race in Formula 1 since Alexander Rossi in 2015.

The Aston Martin owner has spoken about his hope for the sport in the US, as he expects to see “tremendous growth” there in the future.

“There’s never been more fans, spectators at races; the audience is the highest it’s ever been. I continue to see substantial growth, particularly in the United States, the largest consumer market in the world,” added Stroll.

“As you know, we now have three races in the States – we’re in our second year in Miami, we’re going to Las Vegas in November.

“So, I see tremendous growth possibilities going forward.”

Featured Image Credit: XPB Images

  1. Papa Stroll bought Force India when the team was in ” administration ” , and he paid 50 cents on the dollar , for the team .

    There is no way on earth he would have spent the money to buy a team at full price , or paid to start his own team .

    Now he wants to exclude a team that is willing to put up all the cash required, to get in .

    He also bought into Aston Martin, the car company, when the stock was selling for pennies . He likes to buy wounded enterprises , and then play the role of the big guy .

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