Jan 10 (Reuters) – Michael Andretti called Formula One team owners “greedy” on Tuesday and said putting their own interests ahead of the sport was the reason for the lukewarm response to his bid to bring an American team to the series.
Formula One owners expressed indifference to last week’s announcement that Andretti Global and General Motors’ Cadillac brand had joined forces in a bid to become the sport’s 11th team. Read more
Andretti, who has fought hard for an F1 team for several years, hit back in an interview with Forbes on Tuesday, attributing the lukewarm reception to greed.
It’s all about money, Andretti told Forbes. “First, they think they’re going to get one-tenth of their prize money, but they’re also getting very greedy thinking we’re going to take all the American sponsors as well.
“It’s all about greed and looking out for yourself rather than what’s best for the overall growth of the series.”
An all-American team backed by the car giant General Motors with an American driver would seem an attractive opportunity for Formula 1, which is breaking into the American market, where three races will be held this time (Miami, Austin and Las Vegas). season.
But the main obstacle is the dilution of the teams’ share of the revenue and the feeling that the current $200 million entry fee, which would be split among the existing 10 teams as compensation, now looks too cheap.
While the Andretti/GM bid appears to have ticked all the boxes, other deep-pocketed groups have also been sniffing around Formula 1 with German sports car manufacturer Porsche and Honda expressing interest.
However, Andretti’s plan is not without a strong foundation.
The head of the sport’s governing body (FIA) Mohammed Ben Sulayem expressed his support, but Formula 1’s commercial rights holder and the teams were less enthusiastic.
“In Formula 1, the owners look out for themselves, not what’s best for the series,” said Andretti, who also revealed in a Forbes article that he wants to add a NASCAR Cup Series team to his motor racing stable that includes IndyCar and Formula E.
“President Mohammad is looking at the future of sports.
The process of adding possible new clothes will follow strict protocols. Even if accepted, a new team will not be able to enter until 2026 at the earliest.
Andretti, the son of 1978 F1 world champion Mario, has a remarkable track record as a team owner and businessman, but Project 1001, led by Dan Towriss, according to Forbes, is providing capital investment for the F1 venture.
“It wouldn’t have happened without them,” Andretti said. “They are the backbone of the whole thing.
“It will take a long time to get there, but eventually we want to be one of the best teams in Formula 1.
“Our ultimate goal is to compete for the world championship five or six years down the line.”
Steve Keating reports from Toronto. Editing: Toby Davis
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