The expansion plans within the world of Formula 1 have been a constant subject of discussion throughout this year, and it appears that a resolution may be on the horizon as the series gears up for the U.S. Grand Prix in October and the inaugural Las Vegas GP the following month.
Notable American racing figure, Michael Andretti, has expressed keen interest in forming an F1 team in collaboration with Cadillac, signalling a potential new addition to the grid. Simultaneously, the U.K. racing group Hitech is also in the spotlight as a significant player in the expansion talks.
Recent statements from FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, indicate that a decision is imminent. He stated, "I think the final decision will be made within four-to-six weeks." The FIA, which governs Formula 1 and other racing bodies, is contemplating the approval of two expansion teams, a move that could see the current 10 F1 teams share a substantial pot of over $1 billion. Originally, the FIA had set an expansion fee of $200 million per team, but the sport's recent surge in popularity might escalate that figure to over $600 million.
Despite the enthusiasm for expansion, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has been cautious about the need to exceed the current 10-team lineup and has reportedly turned down takeover offers surpassing $1 billion.
Should the expansion plans materialise, the F1 grid would feature 24 cars, the highest count since 2016, when 11 teams and 22 cars were on the grid. The FIA has set the maximum number of cars allowed for an F1 race at 26, indicating that there is still room for further growth in the future. As the series heads towards the crucial U.S. races, all eyes are on the developments that could shape the future landscape of Formula 1.