michael and mario andretti f1

Andretti: It’s all about greed

michael and mario andretti f1
Michael Andretti, head of Andretti Global, claims the reason behind Formula 1‘s lukewarm reaction to Andretti-Cadillac’s plans to become an F1 team is simply greed.

Ever since Andretti-Cadillac announced their plans to become the 11th F1 team on the grid, after the FIA announced their plans to qualify new teams, the only real support the American venture received was from FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, while teams and F1 management remained tight lipped on the subject.

Speaking in an interview with Forbes, Andretti responded on a question as to why their plans haven’t been welcomed by other teams.

“It’s all about money,”he said. “First, they think they are going to get diluted one-tenth of their prize money, but they also get very greedy thinking we will take all the American sponsors as well.

“It’s all about greed and looking at themselves and not looking at what is best for the overall growth of the series,” Andretti claimed.

F1 teams’ reaction not a surprise

“I’m not surprised,” he went on. “In Formula 1, the owners look out for themselves; not what is best for the series. That is the difference between president Mohammad’s position and the team owner’s position. President Mohammad is looking out for the future of the sport.

“Mohammed gets it. He’s a racer and he understands the series needs to have one or two more teams,” Andretti believes, adding: “It is an FIA championship, and it [the FIA] holds most of the cards to get the expression of interest going.”

Andretti singled out Zak Brown, McLaren CEO as the only person supporting his efforts, as well as Alpine; he revealed: “Zak wants to do whatever he can to help us get there and so has Alpine as well. Zak Brown and Alpine are two very good allies. Zak has been very supportive.

“Zak has been a great friend and ally. He gives me advice and is there to help. We help each other. I’ve been helping him a lot since he came to IndyCar racing. It’s a friendship that works both ways,” he added.

He also revealed the Formula 1 CEO was excited about Cadillac joining Andretti’s bid, especially with the growth the sport is witnessing in the United States, and said: “Stefano was very happy when we brought up the name, Cadillac.

“It’s going to be huge for Formula 1 as well. Formula 1 is growing so much in the United States, to bring General Motors and Cadillac into Formula One was very big for all sides considered. It’s a powerful thing to bring Formula 1 into the United States,” the American explained.

Cadillac will be heavily involved

As for reports claiming Cadillac won’t be technically involved and that they are only looking at the project as a marketing exercise, Andretti insisted: “It’s a rumor – it’s not true – Cadillac will be very much involved in the manufacturing of the car.

“If we get in, in 2025, there won’t be a new engine yet, so we would have to go with a formula that is used now, but in 2026 there are various things we can do with another engine manufacturer. It would not be a badged engine, because there would be intellectual property from Cadillac in that engine, so that is not a badged engine,” he explained.

The son of 1978 F1 Champion Mario Andretti insisted he won’t enter F1 to make up the numbers, but has great ambitions to fight for wins and championships.

“Our end goal is to be competing for the world championship five or six years down the road,” he declared. “We want to be competing and race against the best in the world. We aren’t underestimating that. It will be a long, building process, but we have a good plan to eventually get us there.

“You have to stay focused on your job and not listen to the naysayers. I actually use the naysayers as motivation. It’s always fun to shut them up,” Andretti concluded.