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Horner explains why he is not backing Andretti: 'It all comes down to that'

Horner explains why he is not backing Andretti: 'It all comes down to that'

25-01-2023 19:46 Last update: 20:04

It may be winter break in Formula 1, but there is plenty happening around the paddock. For instance, there are currently divisions over the possible entry of Andretti Cadillac, something that the bulk of F1 teams do not approve of, Christian Horner explained.

According to Horner, it is not that the current F1 teams are against Andretti - or anyone else - joining. The Red Bull Racing team boss argued that it has not been properly explained why things are more complicated than might be assumed. He said there is more to it than simply paying $20 million per team, yet in the end it all comes down to money.

In the end, it comes down to money

"As with all these things though, it ultimately boils down to, ‘Well, who’s going to pay for it?’," Horner said in conversation with The Red Bull boss argued that ultimately it is the teams who are going to pay the price, be it directly or indirectly, and they are not waiting for that. After all, the $200 million a new team has to pay is one-off, but the prize money remains the same.

Andretti has had support from McLaren and Alpine, but those teams have their own reasons for doing so. Horner continued: "The two teams that are supporting it (McLaren and Alpine) either have a partnership in the U.S. with them, or are going to supply them an engine. The other eight are saying, ‘Well hang on, why should we dilute our element of the prize fund?’"

A possible solution would be an increase in prize money, but then again Liberty Media does not see that. Horner argued that the owners are happy with the way the sport is performing financially and thinks the preferred solution is to possibly take over or merge with an existing team, as Audi is going to do with Sauber. Introducing a new team would dilute the value of the current 10 teams.

Horner hopes for solution

Horner does hope, however, that a solution can be found. "Like all these things it all comes down to money, and I think there would be a tipping point," he continued. If the teams' prize money is sufficiently compensated, the question is how much money is needed to do so and whether that sum will not become unaffordable for subsequent newcomers.

The Red Bull boss therefore thinks it is up to F1 and the FIA to come to a solution, but even between these two organisations there is division on the subject. While F1 is taking a cautious approach, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has emphatically welcomed the interest of Andretti and GM. "It just needs all parties to have a sensible conversation and agree something that is practical and workable," Horner said.