From a procedural point of view, Michael Andretti has fulfilled absolutely every requirement that Formula One and the FIA have given him in order to enter the sport with his new team, the American has now vented his anger, ripping into the opposition, especially from the current teams, to his plans, reducing it to simple “greed”.
Michael Andretti, American racing veteran and son of F1 Champion and Indycar legend Mario Andretti, has accused Formula One team bosses of “greed” and stubbornness in the face of opposition to new racing teams. Andretti wants to enter the pinnacle of motorsport together with General Motors brand Cadillac, but is not being welcomed with open arms.
Andretti plans to join General Motors (GM) and is reportedly supported by Renault engines on the grid in 2024. While FIA president Mohammed bin Sulayem welcomes the move, the teams seem to be fighting it tooth and nail, in large part because they don’t want to share the money pie.
It’s about simple greed
“It’s about greed and them looking at themselves and not looking at the growth of the racing series,” Andretti said in an interview with Forbes, referring to the ten current racing teams.
“First of all, they think they’re getting a tenth of their prize money watered down, but they’re also getting very greedy because they think we’re taking all the American sponsors as well.”
“It’s all about greed and looking out for themselves and not what’s best for the overall growth of the series,”
Formula 1 is aiming for growth in the US market and has been very successful in doing so in the meantime. This year, with Austin, Miami and Las Vegas, three races are taking place in the States for the first time, the ratings are rising, Andretti and Cadillac are nevertheless having a hard time.
Time and again, the established teams around Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull have pointed out that a newcomer would have to bring added value and stability to the series.
FIA understands it, the teams do not
According to Andretti, “Mohammed gets it. He’s a racer and he understands that the series needs one or two more teams.”
Mohammed bin Sulayem, President of the FIA, sees these criteria fulfilled by General Motors and publicly supports the American bid. After Andretti’s announcement last week, there have been no statements on the plans from the current teams, at least officially. Bin Sulayem, however, said he was “surprised that there have been some negative reactions”.
“We should encourage future Formula One entries from global manufacturers like GM and thoroughbred racers like Andretti and others,” bin Sulayem shared last weekend.
Not deterred by the opposition
Andretti, however, is not about to let the headwinds stop him, and in fact feels spurred on by the negativity: “You have to focus on your work. I even use the naysayers as motivation. It’s always fun to shut them up.”
Michael Andretti has had a rather love/hate relationship with Formula 1. Himself a driver for McLaren in the early nineties as an ill-fated team mate to Ayrton Senna. The American failed to keep up with the Brazilian legend, and crashed frequently, likely not helped by the fact he refused to move to the UK where McLaren were based in Woking, preferring to commute ‘across the pond’ via supersonic Concorde. He simply ‘didn’t get it’ according to the paddock at the time.