Aston Martin‘s team principal Lawrence Stroll has cast doubt on the appropriateness of adding Andretti as an 11th team to Formula One. He laments, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. This comes on the heels of the FIA, Formula One‘s governing body, green-lighting an Andretti-Cadillac bid to become a part of the Grand Prix in 2025 or 2026. This proposed expansion, however, hinges on the blessing of the sport’s commercial rights holder, Liberty Media.
Despite the FIA‘s endorsement, Liberty’s approval is unlikely to be bestowed unless it is backed unanimously by all shareholders. This group includes the ten currently active teams. Historically, several of these teams have expressed their opposition to expanding the competition, particularly while they are experiencing a growing slice of the profit pie in this time of booming popularity for the sport.
Stroll appears unswerving in his opposition. “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 ain’t broke 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,” he shared in an interview with Sky Sports.
Michael Andretti, proprietor of Andretti Autosport, earlier this year branded the existing F1 teams “greedy”. This came after a less-than-excited reaction to his expression of interest in joining the grand prix.
Despite a notable upswing in F1‘s popularity stateside, Stroll argues that this trend would persist even without the addition of a new American team. “As I said the sport and the business is on fire,” he reiterated. “There’s never been more fans or spectators, the audience is the highest it has ever been. I continue to see substantial growth, particularly in the United States which is the largest consumer market in the world.”
Stroll goes on to reference the increasing American presence in F1 as evidenced by hosting a trio of races on US soil. “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.”