Michael Andretti has responded to current teams’ stale reaction to Andretti and Cadillac’s bid to join the Formula 1 grid.
Andretti described the opposition as “all about greed” in an interview with Forbes. He suggested that “money” is a driving factor behind any reluctance towards Andretti and Cadillac joining F1.
He stated that some teams may be concerned that the addition of another team will “dilute” the amount of prize money available. This was echoed by team principals during a press conference at the Miami Grand Prix last year. Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff did not appear to be in favor of a new team joining the grid. He claimed that the addition would result in “a 10% dilution [in prize money] for everyone else.”
This was a sentiment shared by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who said: “the 10 teams or 10 franchises have an intrinsic value and you dilute that by increasing the number”.
“[Teams] get very greedy thinking that we will take all the American sponsors as well,” Michael Andretti added.
“It’s all about greed and looking at themselves rather than what’s best for the series’ overall growth.”
Following the FIA’s announcement that it would be looking into new teams joining F1, it was revealed that Andretti would be collaborating with Cadillac, a subsidiary of General Motors. The bid involves a collaboration between two titans of the American auto industry.
Since the announcement, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been the most vocal supporter of Andretti-Cadillac. The FIA President has spoken out against what he calls a “adverse reaction” to Andretti’s announcement.
“In Formula One, the owners look out for themselves; not what is best for the series,” Andretti said, comparing Ben Sulayem’s stance on an Andretti team to the negative response of current team owners. President Mohammed is concerned about the sport’s future.”
Alpine and McLaren are on board.
Whilst most teams have been less than enthusiastic towards the Andretti-Cadillac announcement, Michael Andretti has labelled Alpine and McLaren CEO Zak Brown as “allies”. Andretti elaborated on his friendship with Brown, saying that they “help each other.”
“I’ve been a big help to him with IndyCar racing,” Andretti said. “It’s a friendship that benefits both parties.”
It’s no surprise that Andretti has Alpine and Brown on his side. During the Miami Grand Prix in May of last year, Andretti lobbied team principals to gather signatures in support of Andretti’s F1 entry. However, he was only able to obtain the signatures of two people: Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi and Zak Brown.
Michael Andretti, on the other hand, is not deterred by the opposition to the Andretti-Cadillac bid. “I actually use the critics as motivation,” Andretti explained. “It’s always fun to silence them.”