The new Concorde Agreement, which all F1 teams recently signed up to, stipulates that any new entrant must pay a $200 million fee to the ten existing Formula One constructors as part of measures to protect the value of the sport’s franchises.
This has prompted concerns that it will be almost impossible for new teams to join the F1 grid unless they purchase an existing outfit, but many people in the paddock believe this requirement is ultimately in the interests of the sport.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has said in an interview with Formula1News.co.uk that the American racing outfit almost certainly wouldn’t have entered Formula One if it had to pay a $200 million entry fee.
“Yes, absolutely,” Steiner replied when asked by Formula1News.co.uk managing editor Suliman Mulhem if he thinks such a high entry fee would have prevented the project from moving forward.
“Because putting down $200 million is a lot of money to start off with and I think that would have scared Gene [Haas] off.
“I cannot say for 100 percent but I think that’s a high number and I think we wouldn’t be here if that requirement was in place six years ago,” he added.
Steiner believes that this high entry fee is nevertheless good for Formula One, as it makes it easier to determine whether or not a team is serious about entering the sport.
“I think it’s obviously a good thing for the existing teams and makes the selection process a lot easier, because if somebody is serious… that’s serious money and if they spend this money, then they are clearly serious.
“It’s a good thing going forward and gives value to the ten franchises which are here at the moment,” he added.
As for the budget cap, which will fall to $135 million in 2023, Steiner thinks it is a “good step in the right direction”, especially as it’s possible for a team to recoup the majority of its expenses if it finishes well in the Constructors’ Standings.
“It’s always too high until we go down to $100 million but I think it’s a good step in the right direction.
“It will level the playing field at some stage, because if you do a good job and finish in the classification high enough there’s a good chance that you can get that money back from the prize money,” Steiner concluded.
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