Wolff: New F1 Teams Must Earn Grid Spot Through Qualification.

Toto Wolff advocates for an American-inspired approach to welcoming new teams into the F1 grid in the coming years. The subject has sparked heated debates, fueled by the recent bids from Andretti Autosport and Hitech GP to join the sport.

Despite their extensive experience outside of F1, both teams have yet to make substantial progress within the paddock, causing notable disappointment, particularly for Michael Andretti.

The Mercedes team principal is calling for a stringent qualification process for aspiring F1 teams aiming to join the grid. In his vision, teams would need to meet a range of criteria and pass specific measures before earning their spot in the highly competitive world of Formula 1.

“There is no mature sports league in the world, whether it’s a national football championship, or the Champions League, the NBA, the NFL, the NHL, where such situation is possible, where you say, ‘I’m setting up a team and I’m joining, thank you very much for making me part of the prize fund,'” Wolff said to Sky Sports.

“You have to give to qualify, you have to go through the ranks, you have to showcase the commitment to the championship that we’ve done over the many years.

“If everybody in the NFL agrees – the teams that own the franchise there, so it’s different to us – agrees to have another entry, to let another team in because of the right reasons, the right ownership, etc, then that team is being admitted into the championship.

“And the same with most of the professional leagues in the US. We are a franchise, and this is how I would look at it.”

“If (an entry bid) is creative, then we must look at it,” Wolff added. “So far, what we’ve seen hasn’t convinced the teams – but we haven’t seen the applications and submissions that were made to the FIA and to Stefano, and they will judge whether that is positive for Formula 1 or not.

“But in any case, from a team’s owner side, there are no leagues which just increased the entries, because that just dilutes the whole league. I think if it’s accretive then obviously not.”