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Ben Sulayem: We can have up to 12 F1 teams

Ben Sulayem: We can have up to 12 F1 teams

Ben Sulayem: We can have up to 12 F1 teams
Mohammed Ben Sulayem believes Formula 1 has the capacity to accommodate 12 teams on the grid in the aftermath of Andretti-Cadillac’s announcement of their plans to enter the sport.

Earlier in January, the FIA President announced his plans to initiate the process qualify new teams to enter F1, which was soon followed by an announcement from Andretti Global and Cadillac that they will be applying to become the 11th team on the F1 grid.

While many believe that a new team in F1 is overdue, reactions from F1 and teams have not been positive regarding Andretti-Cadillac’s plans as opposed to the enthusiasm expressed by Ben Sulayem.

It remains a matter of the existing ten teams having to share the F1 revenue pie with an extra entrant, with Mercedes’ Toto Wolff being the most vocal about the matter, going as far as questioning the value the Andrettis bring to the sport.

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Wolff previously said back in 2022: “All teams have invested considerable sums over the last ten years to get there. If a new team is able to bring us more than it costs, we should look at one Sit down and talk about it. But until now, that proof hasn’t been provided.”

Ben Sulayem went on the offensive expressing his surprise on Sunday regarding the lukewarm reaction from the F1 world regarding the Andretti-Cadillac’s plans.

Why stop at 11? Make them 12 teams…

Which somehow makes sense, especially as the new prospective entrant is in the form Andretti and General Motors, both famous American brands, while keeping in mind the massive growth F1 is enjoying in the United States, with only U.S. owned Haas flying the Stars and Stripes, and have actually not set the sport alight since joining back in 2016.

Speaking to the media at the Dakar Rally, Ben Sulayem reiterated his opinion regarding having a new F1 team, going as far as saying that two more teams would be feasible.

“In general, if we look at the sustainability of Formula 1, we have to open it up to other brands. We can have up to 12 teams on the grid,” he said.

“An OEM – manufacturer – will help make Formula 1 better and I see no reason for which we should not welcome new teams, especially the Americans. We have three races there already this year,” Ben Sulayem pointed out. “We welcome any proposal to be one of the 12 teams.

“We accept good teams, even if they are small, as is the case with Haas. We hope that things will change and we will be able to have a proper eleventh team, we’ll see what happens,” the head of F1’s governing body maintained.