Andretti-Cadillac Decision Slammed By F1 Insiders

Andretti-Cadillac Decision Slammed By F1 Insiders
Andretti-Cadillac Decision Slammed By F1 Insiders

Several prominent Formula 1 insiders have criticised the decision to slam the door shut to Andretti-Cadillac.

Although former McLaren driver Michael Andretti’s US-based motor racing empire was welcomed by the governing FIA, commercial rights holder Liberty Media has finally now issued a resounding “No” – at least for now.

In a statement, F1 said an eleventh team would not “provide value” to the sport unless it is “competitive” – and that Andretti would, in contrast, add “operational burden” and costs to promoters whilst taking away resources from “other competitors”.

However, although chiding team officials for turning down an invitation to London in December, Formula 1 gave hope to Andretti if GM or Cadillac follow through on the pledge to build a works engine for 2028.

In response, Andretti-Cadillac said it “strongly disagrees” with Formula One Management, having already put together a team of 120 staff and revealed a wind tunnel model.

Michael Andretti’s famous father Mario posted on X: “I’m devastated. I won’t say anything else because I can’t find any other words besides devastated.”

Some believe Liberty and the teams are only delaying Andretti’s potential entry until 2028 because, by then, the ‘new team’ compensatory fee could have risen from its current $200 million to triple that amount.

Alexey Popov, a well-known Russian F1 commentator, criticised Formula 1 for slamming the door shut to a new entrant.

“The press release said that if they had a GM engine already, they’d be accepted,” he said. “Well, sorry, but Brawn, Red Bull – did they immediately have their own engines?

“Imagine if Stewart had not been allowed to enter in 1997 – we wouldn’t have Red Bull now. It didn’t come out of nowhere,” Popov said. “If BAR hadn’t been allowed in, there wouldn’t be a Mercedes now. If Jordan hadn’t been allowed in, there wouldn’t be an Aston Martin now.

“If this principle had always been followed, there’d be no teams in Formula 1 at all. They even would have managed to keep Ferrari out in the 50s.

“I was never a fan of Michael Andretti, but Mario Andretti is a legend who won everything. How can you not let them in?” the Russian insisted.

With a similar view is Michael Schmidt, the top correspondent for Germany’s specialist Auto Motor und Sport, who sensed “personal resentments” played a role in Andretti’s rejection.

“I don’t know if he understood what he was getting himself into,” he said. “Maybe the Americans simply acted too boldly for everyone’s liking, trying to force their way in.

“But by rejecting the application, Formula 1 has also slammed the door on itself,” Schmidt added. “If the criteria mentioned (by F1) applies, then no other applicant can hope to be accepted into the premier class either.”

As for F1’s claim that Andretti-Cadillac would not have won races or podiums, he commented: “Not even the long-established teams can do that at the moment.

“They also say that a new manufacturer could take years to become successful – then this also applies to Audi and Ford,” Schmidt explained.

“And if Formula 1 claims that the Andretti name adds no value, then it shouldn’t have allowed team names like ‘Stake F1’ or ‘Visa Cash App RB’. They certainly won’t attract any new fans.

“And in the US growth market, Andretti is definitely different from the new tongue twisters.”

In his latest article, F1 Chronicle’s own George Howson described the sport as being run by a ‘cartel’ and asked the question, how can Andretti become competitive if they’re not allowed on the grid…

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