‘Political storm’ predicted with FIA and F1 set to clash over Andretti entry

Sam Cooper
Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Stefano Domenicali

The FIA and F1 have often not seen eye to eye with each other.

Karun Chandhok has said there will be a “political storm” as the FIA and FOM are at loggerheads over a potential Andretti entry.

The American racing family was given the green light from the FIA this week in regards to their F1 entry as the sport’s governing body deemed them capable to compete both in financial terms and sporting terms.

But even with the FIA’s seal of approval, Andretti could still be denied a spot on the grid by FOM who have always seemed the more reluctant of the two parties.

Karun Chandhok foresees ‘political storm’ arriving in F1

Having submitted their Expression of Interest process earlier this year, Andretti were the sole approval of four candidates with the FIA passing on their findings to the sport’s commercial arm.

FOM have yet to make a public comment on Andretti’s entry, simply noting the findings of the FIA process, but it still seems unlikely they will be given a green light.

Sky Sports F1 pundit Chandhok predicted a “political storm” is brewing between the sport’s two most powerful parties.

“I think Formula 1, on the whole, are looking at it going ‘we need to protect the interests of the 10 people who have invested in the sport and grown it to the level that it’s at the moment.’

“Although we haven’t had any firm answers out of F1 yet, I think they’re going through their own process of evaluating Andretti. But at the moment, the indications are that F1, the teams and F1 as an organisation, don’t feel like they need an 11th team.

“I think [F1 CEO] Stefano Domenicali has come out on record saying that he doesn’t feel we need more teams in the grid.

“So it’s going to be a bit of an impasse because the FIA as a governing body have approved it and said they are fit to compete. F1 as a commercial rights holder feel otherwise.

“I can see this turning into a bit of a political storm.”

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Chandhok went on to state his belief that the current teams view the sport now as a franchise, much in the same vein as the NFL, with a set number of teams in the league.

“I think out of the 10 teams that are here on the grid, I’ve only heard a couple of them being sort of neutral,” he said. “Pretty much everyone [else is] against having another team and they view Formula 1 now as a franchise model.

“They see 10 teams here. Each of them view their own team as a business of a certain value and as soon as you add an 11th one in, it dilutes the value.

“I think fundamentally, it’s an economical viewpoint that they’re taking, looking after their own interests.”

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