Formula One (F1), the highest class of international auto racing, is currently witnessing an unprecedented surge in popularity. So much so that F1 teams are even turning down "almost billions" from would-be investors, says F1 boss Stefano Domenicali.
"Now the market is offering almost billions to teams, and they are refusing that. Can you imagine that?" Domenicali marvels, underscoring the jaw-dropping interest currently surrounding the sport.
Building an Impenetrable Ecosystem
Domenicali attributes the sport's skyrocketing value to the solid ecosystem they've built.
The strength of this ecosystem, he asserts, rests on their "important structure" and "important dynamics". The more the individual components grow, the sturdier the collective business platform becomes. "So that gives you the perspective of what we are building as an ecosystem.
We are building important structure, important dynamics of which the more everyone is growing, the better and stronger is the business platform which we are all working in," explains Domenicali.
A Perfect Show Needs No More Teams
Asked whether he believes F1 could benefit from an 11th or 12th team, Domenicali was quick to express his dissent: "I don't think so, that's a personal opinion, I need to say that.
If you have a good show, 20 cars are more than enough." In his view, the excitement in F1 lies in the close competition, not necessarily in the number of competing teams. The head-to-head battles between just two cars or drivers can garner an astonishing level of attention.
Thus, the current 20 cars, represented by 10 teams, promise a level of competition that is nothing short of "impressive".
Open to the Right Bid
That said, Domenicali clarifies he's not strictly against new entries. His "no" to additional teams is not an anti-expansion stance but a plea for a thoughtful approach.
He underlines the importance of respecting those who've invested in F1 over recent years, and cautions against rushing into decisions. "My 'no' is not against someone wants to come in, I need to clarify that because otherwise it seems that I want to be protectionist, that is not the case.
I want to see the right one and I need to also respect the ones that have invested in F1 in the last period... we need to be prudent, we need to take the right decision. That's what I'm saying."