Are Williams and McLaren Becoming Rare Breeds in F1? Here’s FOM’s Vision!

After conversations with Haas team principal Guenther Steiner Formula One Management might prefer only factory teams.


By Ben Bush
Updated on May 29, 2024

Are Williams and McLaren Becoming Rare Breeds in F1?

Traditional and historic teams like Williams, McLaren, and Haas, owned by private groups, are gradually becoming less common in the Formula 1 landscape. In contrast to teams like Mercedes, Ferrari, Alpine, and Red Bull Racing, which have factory backings or affiliations like RBPT and the forthcoming Audi connection.

Recent insights from The Race, after their conversation with Haas team principal Guenther Steiner, indicate that Formula One Management (FOM) might prefer only factory teams joining the sport in the future.

READ MORE: FIA: Brazilian GP F1 track invasion was “unacceptable situation”

Guenther Steiner’s candid comments have placed him in the spotlight, especially concerning the potential entry of Andretti-Cadillac into Formula 1. Despite Mario Andretti‘s assertions in a one-on-one with GPblog that all prerequisites are in place, Steiner, the Italian boss, remains unconvinced about Andretti-Cadillac joining the F1 fold. Elaborating on his stance to journalists, Steiner shared sentiments he believes resonate with many other team principals. He emphasised that while the F1 teams might not have a direct voice in such decisions, a consensus exists against Andretti-Cadillac’s participation.

Steiner pondered:

Why would we dilute what we have got just to get somebody else, a team, when Formula 1 is booming – because who knows where we are in three or four years?

He recalled the not-so-distant past when several teams grappled with financial hurdles. With Formula 1 teams now thriving, Steiner is wary of new entrants capitalising on the legacy established by longstanding teams.

It’s easy to say, ‘it [Andretti] doesn’t do anything for F1’. I’ve always said, if it can be demonstrated that nothing is going negative for anybody, let’s talk about it – but I haven’t seen anything.

Steiner reveals an understanding between the teams and FOM: only genuine factory teams will be considered for future entries. This perspective is particularly intriguing coming from Steiner, given that Haas isn’t a factory team. Acquiring an existing team seems to be the only way for any potential team. There have been whispers about Michael Andretti’s initial interest in acquiring Sauber (destined to transition to Audi), but that deal didn’t materialise.

Seen in:

About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

Latest Reads