McLaren boss Zak Brown has aired his views on the expansion of the Formula One grid and how others do not share his viewpoint.

With 10 teams now on the Formula 1 grid, speculation has emerged that this number might soon rise, as some of the world’s biggest names in motorsport have expressed interest.

Both Audi and Porsche have expressed interest in participating in the sport, with Herbert Diess, CEO of parent company Volkswagen Group, confirming that both will do so in 2026. However, both parties are aiming to buy or invest in an existing team rather than forming a new one.

Zak Brown spoke about the likelihood of the Formula One grid extending, as well as his thoughts on German manufacturers joining the sport.

“We’ve got a great spectacle as it is so I understand why some people would go ‘We’ve got 10 very healthy teams, we’re not at risk of losing a team’ whereas historically, in the last 20 years, there has always been a team or two on the brink,” said Brown.

“I know Audi and Porsche, the CEO made some statements which effectively confirmed that they are coming into the sport.”

“We can go up to 12 teams and I think as long as they are quality teams who are properly resourced and can contribute to the growth of the sport.”

“Whether you buy or invest in an existing team or start one, it shows how healthy the sport is now that you have real people and investors that own different sports and OEMs that are trying to figure out a way to get into the sport.”

“It’s achieved what Liberty [Media] has wanted to achieve which is to build franchise value for the racing teams.”

The grid can grow to twelve teams under the Concorde agreement, but there have only been ten since Manor left at the end of 2016.

While Audi and Porsche have expressed interest in joining existing teams, Michael Andretti has expressed interest in starting a new team.  This would give American drivers a realistic road into the sport, something that has been lacking in recent years.

Brown is open to Andretti entering the grid, owing to his family’s history in motorsport. However, some are opposed, like Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff, who is concerned that it will lower the teams’ revenue.

Brown called these viewpoints “selfish” and expressed support for an eleventh team.

“I’m not surprised at all that some of the race teams take a very selfish view on what should and shouldn’t happen in motor racing. I don’t think that is anything new,” Brown continued. “Obviously, he is keen to come into Formula 1. He got close with a deal on Alfa Romeo and now he has stated he wants to start a team.

“It is obviously a very high-pedigree racing family, a great IndyCar team, Formula E team, Extreme E team. We think the more competition the better.”

“I think the pushback from some of the teams has been more of a fiscal pushback because ultimately they chew into the prize fund.”

“They have to write a pretty significant cheque on the front end which means the dilution of money is a few years out and if you believe they are additive to the sport…”

“I think they will put more in through helping build the sport, maybe an increased television contract in America, more sponsorship – that by the time the dilution kicked in, they would have helped contribute to more growth.”

“So I think we have a very long-term view on these things that economically, things would be okay, so we’re supportive of an 11th high-quality team,” the McLaren CEO concluded.

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