Andretti’s effort to join F1 is the loudest of many demands

Formula 1 has received many inquiries from potential team owners who have taken a more low-key approach than Michael Andretti, who has been “quite clear” about his desire to expand the current grid, the Formula 1 CEO said on Wednesday. the F1.

Andretti has asked to expand the current F1 grid to 22 cars to accommodate Andretti Global, which he presents as a true American team. Andretti took this route after attempts to buy an existing F1 team collapsed late last year.

It said this week it was building a 575,000 square foot facility on approximately 90 acres in Fishers, Indiana, to house Andretti Global. But he’s still nowhere near landing an F1 team and Domenicali has offered very few Andretti-specific updates.

“The status of Formula 1 is not a question of quantity,” said Domenicali. “It’s a matter of understanding not only those who have a bigger, louder voice, but there will be other people because Andretti has been quite vocal on his request.

“But there are others who have done the same thing in a different way. So we will listen to not only Andretti, but others who respect the silence trying to be more productive in proving who they are and respecting the protocol.

The question is what value – if any – comes with expanding the current grid by 20 cars.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff vehemently opposed the expansion and argued it would only cut into profits as the pot would be split between 11 teams instead of 10. But McLaren boss Zak Brown, argued that adding the Andretti name would increase North American interest and signing sponsors based on Andretti’s stake would offset any dilution of the purse.

Wolff dismissed the idea that the Andretti name brings any value to F1. Mario Andretti is the 1978 F1 world champion; Michael Andretti has had an unremarkable season behind the wheel of the series.

And while Andretti has had talks with Renault about entering F1, Wolff has only backed a potential Audi-backed effort.

“Andretti is a big name, and I think they’ve done exceptional things in the United States,” Wolff said recently. “But it’s sport and it’s business and we have to understand what you can bring to the sport.”

The resistance angered Mario Andretti, who on Twitter responded to a question asking if Wolff is too powerful for F1 with: “Had to say it; it was time.

Domenicali said on Wednesday that Wolff had earned his respect in F1 and was a credible voice on the show. He also indicated that any back and forth on the Andretti issue is moot as the decision will be made by a governing body and not by Wolff and the current team principals.

“Mario, I know him very, very well, and he tries to present his idea in a way that he thought was the right way to do it,” Domenicali said. “But I believe there is governance in place and the decision should follow the process and protocol in place.

“Mario is very vocal, so is Michael. We have to respect that we may have a difference of opinion, but at the end of the day it’s about following protocol and there’s someone who has to make the final decision.


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