Stefano Domenicali answers critics after widespread criticism for rejected Andretti bid

Michelle Foster
The F1 logo and Michael Andretti

Andretti was rejected by FOM despite being approved by the FIA.

Widely criticised for rejecting Andretti Cadillac’s bid to join the F1 grid, F1 chief Stefano Domenicali insists the “process had been followed”.

Last year the FIA gave its approval for Michael Andretti to set up an 11th team to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship.

All that stood between the American and his dream was Formula One Management, and stand firm is exactly what FOM did.

Formula 1 rejected Andretti’s bid to join the grid

Having spoken several times about Formula 1 not needing an 11th team unless they bring added value to the sport, Domenicali and co. rejected Andretti’s bid.

“The most significant way in which a new entrant would bring value is by being competitive, in particular by competing for podiums and race wins,” read the statement.

“This would materially increase fan engagement and would also increase the value of the Championship in the eyes of key stakeholders and sources of revenue such as broadcasters and race promoters.”

They did, however, leave the door open for Andretti to join in 2028 when Cadillac enters the sport as an engine supplier.

But with Andretti previously blaming “greed” for the existing teams not wanting him on the grid, it has been suggested that upping the sport’s anti-dilution fee from $200m to $600m could smooth the path.

The fee, as well as the grounds for an 11th team, will feature in the next Concorde Agreement that Domenicali hopes to have hammered out “very, very soon”.

For now, the former Ferrari team boss is happy that FOM carried out as the process when it came to Andretti the right way.

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“For sure it’s a point related to the Concorde Agreement,” the F1 chief told Wall Street analysts about the possibility of an 11th team.

“It’s a point of a joint work that has to be done between the FIA and FOM in regard to the different kinds of evaluation that we need to do.

“So I think that with regard to what has happened, I think that the process has been followed, and we presented the result in the right way.

“For the future it’s a matter of discussion, of course, with the teams, with the right commercial and technical proposition that will be discussed accordingly, within this year.”

“We expect to address the renewal of the Concorde Agreement with the teams very, very shortly,” he added. “Our view, that is basically shared with the teams, is that basically the Concorde Agreement will not need any substantial changes this time around. So we’re going to start very, very soon.

“We had priority to finalise before the end of season talking about regulations, and other stuff with regard to other things that need to be solved before. So now, we’re getting close to the time where we’re going to start this discussion. Very, very shortly, as I said.”

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