Written by Isha Reshmi Mohan, Edited by Meghana Sree
We’ve all heard the news of Audi joining F1 in 2026 and in the future, we could potentially see more teams joining the grid, leading to an increase from just ten teams competing. There have been mixed responses regarding this possibility, as there have been cases where having 11 teams was chaotic, but let’s look into the impact of having more teams with regard to the smaller teams.
Smaller teams often struggle with limited budgets and resources. The entry of additional teams can increase the financial burden as they compete for sponsorship, investment, and limited resources in terms of talented personnel and equipment. It may become even more challenging for smaller teams to secure necessary funding, potentially widening the gap between them and larger, better-funded teams.
Smaller teams may find it harder to compete with larger, more established teams that have greater financial resources, technical expertise, and experience which was even mentioned by the Haas Team Principal, Guenther Steiner, on multiple occasions when asked about the cost cap. The entry of new teams may further amplify this discrepancy, making it more difficult for smaller teams to achieve competitive success. This also affects their chances of scoring points for their teams.
Talent Pool Dilution
The entry of more teams could potentially lead to a dilution of the talent pool. Smaller teams might struggle to attract or retain highly skilled drivers, engineers, and other key personnel due to increased competition from both new and established teams. This could hinder their ability to develop competitive cars and perform well on the track.
Technical Development Challenges
With more teams on the grid, the technical regulations and development race become more complex. Smaller teams may face difficulties in keeping up with the pace of technological advancements due to limited resources, compared to larger teams with more significant budgets and R&D capabilities. This could widen the performance gap between smaller and larger teams.
Team Stability and Survival
Smaller teams often face challenges in terms of financial stability and long-term survival. The entry of more teams can intensify these challenges, as the competition for resources, sponsorship, and investment becomes more fierce. Smaller teams may find it even harder to secure their financial future and ensure their continued presence in the sport.
Cost-sharing and Collaboration
On the positive side, the entry of more teams can create opportunities for cost-sharing and collaboration among smaller teams. They can pool their resources, share technical expertise, and collaborate on certain aspects of car development, such as sharing wind tunnel facilities or purchasing components collectively. Such collaborations can help smaller teams reduce costs and improve their competitiveness.
Smaller teams can also benefit from the entry of new teams that bring fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and technical expertise. The sharing of knowledge and ideas among teams can lead to a transfer of technical know-how, allowing smaller teams to learn from the advancements and strategies of larger and more experienced teams.
Performance Boost through Regulation Changes
When new teams enter the grid, there may be changes in the technical regulations to accommodate them. These regulation changes can sometimes level the playing field or introduce opportunities for innovation that smaller teams can capitalize on. For example, if new regulations favor certain design philosophies or power unit configurations, smaller teams might have a chance to excel by adopting these changes more effectively.