FIA President Wants More Teams, Fewer Races for F1

Jackson Wheeler
3 Min Read

The president of F1’s governing body has confirmed he is not 100% in line with the sport’s commercial rights holder in a fundamental way.

As the sport re-congregated in Bahrain for the 2024 season opener, top stars like Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso hit out at the now brutal length of the 24-race calendar.

When asked about that by European outlet Speed Week at the Geneva Motor Show, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s answer was telling.

“I have always said that I am convinced that we should have more teams rather than more races,” Ben Sulayem said.

The comment could be viewed as a dig at F1 rights holder Liberty Media, which is responsible for the commercial deals with race promoters and drafting the calendar.

The Ben Sulayem-led FIA had earlier green-lit Michael Andretti’s bid for Andretti-Cadillac to become the 11th team in Formula 1 as soon as 2025, and the federation’s president defended his position on Thursday. The bid was ultimately shot down by Formula One Management.

“We examined the application in all details and approved it,” Ben Sulayem said. “But we are only responsible for the sporting side, not the commercial side. As a sports official, my dream is to have a team from the USA in Formula 1, and not only a team and a driver, but also a manufacturer. They are important for the entire sport. Just as we would also welcome teams and manufacturers from China.

“I also really hope that Audi will be there (in 2026) as announced and that General Motors will be there.”

When asked for his position on the matter, as the CEO of Formula 1 representing Liberty Media, Stefano Domenicali declared that the introduction of an 11th team in F1 is a matter linked to the Concorde Agreement.

“This is joint work that must be carried out between the FIA and FOM with regard to the different types of evaluation that we must carry out,” Domenicali is quoted as saying in Bahrain. “Regarding what happened (with Andretti), I think that the process was respected and that we presented the result in the right way,” Domenicali insisted.

“For the future, it is above all a question of exchanges, with the teams, with the commercial and technical proposals which will be discussed during this year in due course.”

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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