Two major F1 teams join forces to continue anti-Andretti crusade

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez prepares to lead the field on its formation lap ahead of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez prepares to lead the field on its formation lap.

As Formula 1’s unofficial deadline to rule on an 11th team came and went, Fred Vasseur has once again questioned what, if anything, Andretti could bring to the sport.

Michael Andretti is one of five applicants for a spot on the Formula 1 grid but the American has repeatedly been blocked by the existing teams, something he put down to greed given they’d have to share their prize money amongst 11 instead of 10 teams if a new outfit is accepted.

It’s a fair point that Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff accepts is one of the reasons the teams aren’t in favour of an 11th squad on the grid, but it’s not their only reason.

‘Being American isn’t enough to see Andretti join the grid’

According to Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur today’s 10 teams have all paid their dues to Formula 1, surviving through the tough times to come out in today’s market said to be worth a billion dollars each.

They are the ones who put in the work to make Formula 1 what it is today, as such he doesn’t believe just being “American”, as Andretti is, is enough to deserve a place on the grid.

“My position is that the 10 teams that made huge efforts even when it was tough to be on the grid, and to survive for some of them, now that if we have to welcome another team, it has to be for mega good reasons,” he said as per Motorsport.com.

“The fact that you have an American team is not a good reason. Because for me, first, we have an American team, thanks to Haas.

“And the second one is that if you want to be at the top in the country, it’s a matter of drivers.

“Have a look at what’s happened in the Netherlands. It’s the biggest success of the world today, and they don’t have a team, they have Max.

“I think first, we have a good success in the US. If you want to increase the success in the US, it’s more a matter for me to have an American driver. It’s not about the team.”

Andretti has argued that he’s linked up with Cadillac, bringing one of America’s biggest manufacturers to the party. But even that, Vasseur says, isn’t enough.

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“I have to say it again, that we made collectively a big effort,” he maintained. “If someone wants to join now, it has to be also to the benefit of everybody in the paddock.

“It means that they have to bring something to F1. I don’t think that the nationality of the team is an asset.”

His Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner also isn’t so sure that General Motors, through its Cadillac brand, will invest in Formula 1 in the same manner Red Bull have done with their Powertrains Division.

“GM is a great brand, but what I’m interested in is what is their model?” Horner said. “I don’t assume they’re going to go and build a facility like [ours]. I assume it’s a badging exercise.”

Although the unofficial deadline of May 31st has passed, the FIA is still weighing whether Andretti, or the other four potentials – which includes Carlin, Hitech, Formula Equal and LKY SUNZ – could join the grid in 2025.

“Now, the FIA will run their process. I think, as with all these things, you’ve got the logistical issue of how to accommodate the 11th team,” Horner added.

“But the reality is what it really boils down to is, who’s going to pay for it? And if it dilutes the existing 10, of course, they’re going to have an issue with it.

“Liberty are not going to want to dilute their element of the income. So that’s where you end up at a stand-off.”

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