Teams looking to join the Formula 1 grid will have to pay $200 million to their rivals before gaining approval, it has been revealed.
The payment, which has been added to the new Concorde Agreement, requires completely new entries to compensate for the dilution of prizemoney distributed to the current teams.
According to McLaren CEO Zak Brown, the rule will help safeguard the future of the incumbents.
“What that $200million is intended to do is to protect the value of the existing teams – if it is as reported on the Williams sale, that’s less expensive and you get a lot more for your money than starting a new team,” he explained.
“But I think if you believe in the franchise value growth of Formula 1 then you’ll get that $200 million back and then some at a later date. Also, the way the regulations are written there is the ability for Liberty and the teams to agree to adjust that number.”
Additionally, Brown thinks such a large up-front commitment will ensure the sport only receives entries that have the proper financial backing to compete in the first place.
” I think what we’re trying to do as an industry is stop what we’ve had in the past where a US F1 announces they are going Formula 1 racing and they never get to the track.
“I think the $200 million is intended to really make sure that if someone is coming into the sport, that they have the wherewithal to do it, so we don’t have what we’ve historically had which is random announcements that people are going to come in and then they never make it to the track.
“I don’t think you’d ever see it in other major forms of sport.”
In the past 11 years, F1 has seen four new entries – Lotus/Caterham, Virgin/Manor, HRT and Haas, with only the latter outfit still standing. Should anyone wish to follow in their footsteps, they will have to stump-up an almighty sum of cash, although in the event a new entry expands the grid beyond ten teams, it is possible for the fee to be waived should the current teams unanimously agree to do so.