f1 andretti cadillac-001

Marko: 11th team can benefit F1 but it’s political and about money

f1 andretti cadillac-001

Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko hopes that the Cadillac-backed Andretti Global bid to be Formula 1’s 11th team will happen but fears the matter is too “political” and all about money at the moment.

The failure of Michael Andretti-led all-American F1 entry is well documented. In a nutshell, despite the FIA rubber-stamping the entry and its President Mohammed ben Sulayem declaring that the GM-backed bid was “an offer F1 cannot refuse” but they did.

Thus making a mockery of the perception that the governing body has an actual say in the big decisions regarding the sport.


If F1 were the Mafia, the bosses of the existing ten teams are the Capos who run the numbers and control the big bucks, and of course, the Capo do tutti Capi, aka the Liberty Media Famiglia headed by Don Stefano Domenicali, who own the show.

And there’s the guy who thinks he runs the show but, in fact, he is a bit like Fredo Corleone (of Godfather fame) who made occasional cameos until they took him on to a lake, in a row boat etc.

For the Disney-minded, think of nine little piggies led by a wolf running the meadow on a glorious farm. Of course, what the wolf says goes or piggy becomes bacon. As a result, wolf has his favourite piggies running the show. And together they form a formidable force in this tale.

An eleventh piggy wants to be part of the show. But the wolf is scared that the new arrival could be a wolf in piggy clothing. So the wolf resists, snarls and you know what the little nine piggies do. Exactly. Obey. Step in the Big Bad Wolf, who ‘owns’ the whole show to back up the nine little piggies and their wolf leader.

Then there is the one photo bombing of every possible pretending he is the biggest badest wolf, but in fact he is toothless, makes U-turns and is increasingly insignificant in the bigger picture of the farm he thought he owned.

Marko: Names like Andretti and Cadillac would have a positive effect on F1

andretti sulayem marko

Seriously, that’s how it stands now in the world of F1: Domenicali has backed the teams, basically telling Andretti they can try again at the end of this decade. No matter what the FIA and its President have to say, they were put in their place and have since shut up.

Nasir Hameed travelled from his home in Florida (USA) to interview Dr Marko in Graz. The veteran behind the mic got a 50-minute exclusive, one-on-one interview packed with information and highlights from the good Doctor. This we will drip feed over the next few days, to cater to the length and breadth of the subjects discussed during an intriguing interview with the 82-year-old Austrian.

Touching on the matter of an 11th team, Nasir asked for Dr.Marko’s take on the saga: “It’s a difficult situation. And it’s not up to us. I personally think 11 teams could benefit Formula 1. But as always, it’s a money situation.

“The existing ten teams have spent a hell of a lot of money in the last decades. Now, since the cost cap came about, it’s become a business case. So it’s just understandable that they don’t want to take or give away any of their cake. So I think it’s up to Liberty Media to find a solution so that the existing F1 teams are not struggling.

“At the same time, I think a name like Andretti and a name like Cadillac would have a positive effect. On the other hand, if you have 11 teams, I believe at least 50% of the circuits won’t have garages for them.

“That is solvable but the main thing is political and I hope they can resolve that,” added Marko. (Extracted from Nasir Hamid’s exclusive interview with Dr. Helmut Marko in Graz)

Big Question: Can Formula 1 do with an 11th team?