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AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 21: Mohammed ben Sulayem, FIA President, walks in the Pitlane during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 21, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Sulayem: Andretti only potential new F1 team

Andretti is the only team trying to enter Formula 1, and they've been doing so for a while now

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Andretti is the only team that currently has plans to enter Formula 1, according to the FIA President.

Andretti and Cadillac, along with General Motors, announced a partnership to enter F1 (Image Credit: Andretti Autosport)

Andretti’s journey to Formula 1 has been very public, ever since they first set out to buy Sauber in 2021. But despite F1’s claim that other possible entries have been more quietly making plans to enter the sport, FIA President Ben Sulayem says they haven’t heard any other offers.

“To us directly, it’s Andretti,” Sulayem told Autosport, saying that “up to now” at least, no other teams have come forward.

Sulayem has been outwardly very supportive of Andretti’s efforts to enter Formula 1 and bring in new teams. “How can we say no to a big manufacturer?” he asked. “We talk about the United States, we have three races there, it’s very healthy. But I am elected not to make money, I’m elected to sustain motorsport, clearly.”

Other teams still reluctant

Despite the fact that Andretti is the only team interested in joining Formula 1 at the moment, and the fact that they now have the backing of both Cadillac and General Motors, the other teams haven’t warmed up to them.

Although Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff called the announcement a statement, and said “Certainly, [GM and Cadillac] joining forces with Andretti is definitely a positive,” as a general rule the paddock still isn’t convinced.

After Andretti’s partnership announcement, Sulayem took to Twitter to express his disappointment with certain parties. “It is surprising that there has been some adverse reaction to the Cadillac and Andretti news,” he said. He also added that Formula 1 “should be encouraging prospective F1 entries from global manufacturers like GM and thoroughbred racers like Andretti and others.”

It seems that at least some of the opposition from other teams comes from a place of not wanting to split the Formula 1 prize money another way.

“They might say, ‘oh, it’s taking our piece of the cake,'” argued Sulayem. “Yes, to them – but what do you want? Maybe kick [out] five teams, and then you have more money? You can take it both ways.

“I want them to succeed, but to get more money and less money… I mean the cost cap was effective, and we’re trying to make it more effective. Imagine if you are having 145 [million] on everyone. But I cannot be blocking a manufacturer. Imagine me doing that. It’s wrong.”

Michael Andretti, still very publicly fighting his fight to join the Formula 1 grid, has been open about the other teams’ opposition, believing it’s “all about greed.”

Feature Image Credit: Chris Graythen – Getty Images

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