Andretti face further F1 blow with massive entry fee hike set to be triggered

Jamie Woodhouse
Michael Andretti listening to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem. Miami May 2022.

Michael Andretti listening to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem on the grid before the Miami Grand Prix. Miami May 2022.

Off the back of being advised by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem to buy an existing team, now Andretti may need to be prepared to pay substantially more if they persist as a new entry.

The union of Andretti and General Motors brand Cadillac received the support of the FIA in their attempts to become a new 11th Formula 1 team, but Formula One Management has so far not budged in its resistance to the American outfit.

Andretti may need to pay $600 million instead for F1 entry

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Andretti has not been deterred, the prospective team recently confirming the statement signing of former F1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds, as well as opening a new base at Silverstone, but received an initial blow when the FIA president pivoted and advised Andretti to now “go and buy another team”, Ben Sulayem long since a vocal advocate for Andretti joining and expanding the F1 grid.

And if Andretti did persist in becoming an 11th F1 team, then their entry fee could be triple the amount at present. A current $200m anti-dilution fee is in place for a new team to pay which is split among the current constructors, though Ben Sulayem believes a rise to $600m would be correct under the new Concorde Agreement currently being negotiated.

“We have to have a balance. Is $200 million too low? I believe $600 (million) is something where it is right for the current market,” Ben Sulayem told Reuters.

Can Andretti muscle their way into Formula 1?

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👉 Mario Andretti reveals ‘bullet through my heart’ comment over F1 team entry

Speaking recently to PlanetF1.com, 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti claimed that passing the FIA’s inspections was the main hurdle overcome, as efforts continue to convince Formula 1 to open that door which has remained locked.

“I feel that probably the most difficult part was being approved by the FIA,” he said in an exclusive interview.

“That was serious business – the system was very robust, and look how many teams applied.

“There were no favours there, we had to comply with every aspect and check every box. There was no fudging here or fudging there.

“There was no personal aspect as part of it. You either do it or you don’t, either you commit or you don’t.

“So we did all that and that’s what gives me confidence that, ultimately, reason will prevail, because how else can you show instead of talking? By doing, we’re doing things and taking somewhat of a financial risk. There is a financial risk, no question.

“But I think we’re going into this with open eyes, we’re not stupid. We know what we’re up against. We know the immense complexity of the project, all of this was studied before we even started thinking about it.

“So I think we’re well prepared to meet the ultimate challenge here, and we just need the opportunity, ‘OK, boys, you’re in’, and that’s it.”

Not since 2016 has the Formula 1 grid featured 11 teams.

Read next: FIA president tells Andretti ‘go and buy another team’ in surprise F1 entry U-turn