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Mario Andretti at Supercars Adelaide 500 in 2018.

Andretti: Opposition towards F1 bid is “all about greed”

Michael Andretti hits back against opposition towards Andretti-Cadillac F1 entry.

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Michael Andretti has responded to the stale reaction from current teams towards Andretti and Cadillac’s bid to join the Formula 1 grid.

The Andretti and Cadillac logos.
The logos of Andretti and Cadillac. (Image credit: @CARandDRIVER on Twitter)

In an interview with Forbes, Andretti described the opposition as being “all about greed”. He suggested that “money” is a driving factor behind any reluctance towards Andretti and Cadillac joining F1. 

He said that there may be a concern amongst teams that the addition of another team would “dilute” the amount of prize money available. This echoed the views expressed by team principals in a press conference during the Miami Grand Prix last year. Mercedes principal Toto Wolff did not appear supportive of a new team joining the grid. He stated that the addition would mean “a ten per cent dilution [in prize money] for everybody 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”.

Michael Andretti also stated that “[teams] get very greedy thinking that we will take all the American sponsors as well.” 

“It’s all about greed and looking at themselves and not looking at what is best for the overall growth of the series.”

Following an announcement from the FIA of its intentions to look into new teams joining F1, it was revealed that Andretti would be joining forces with Cadillac, a subsidiary of General Motors (GM). The bid sees a partnership between two giant names in the landscape of American motoring.

Since the announcement, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has proven to be Andretti-Cadillac’s most vocal supporter. The FIA President has condemned what he described as an “adverse reaction” to Andretti’s announcement. 

Comparing Ben Sulayem’s stance on an Andretti team with the negative response of current team owners, Andretti said: “In Formula One, the owners look out for themselves; not what is best for the series. President Mohammed is looking out for the future of the sport.” 

Support from Alpine and McLaren

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”. Elaborating on his relationship with Brown, Andretti stated that they “help one another.”

“I’ve been helping him a lot when it came to IndyCar racing,” Andretti said. “It’s a friendship that works both ways.” 

It is not surprising that Andretti has named Alpine and Brown as supporters. During the Miami Grand Prix in May last year, Andretti lobbied team principals in an effort to garner signatures of support for Andretti’s entry into F1. However, he was only able to secure two signatures: Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi and Zak Brown. 

Michael Andretti, however, is not allowing the opposition to the Andretti-Cadillac bid to deter him. “I actually use the naysayers as motivation,” Andretti said. “It’s always fun to shut them up.”

Feature Image Credit: Daniel Kalisz via Getty Images

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