The efforts from Andretti Global to join the Formula 1 grid have been swiftly rejected by F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali in the past, with his reasoning being that the current ten team model is perfectly stable.
The team have since partnered with American car giants General Motors to form Andretti-Cadillac, a much more appealing project to the sport than when Andretti were on their own.
While Domenicali’s stance has not changed, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has entertained the idea of expanding the grid, suggesting that fans should be excited about the potential addition of motorsport giants such as Andretti and General Motors.
The reception from the current teams on the grid to the project has been a frosty one, with both Guenther Steiner and Toto Wolff expressing their concerns to the media in recent weeks.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has now shed some light on these concerns, explaining that it is the finances involved with expanding the grid that have the teams worried.
“Look, Andretti is a great brand, a great team. Obviously GM and Cadillac as well would be two phenomenal brands to have in the sport, and I don’t think there can be any dispute about that,” he told RACER.
“As with all these things though, it ultimately boils down to, ‘well, who’s going to pay for it?’
“And you can assume that the teams, it they’re perceived to be the ones who are paying for it – or diluting their payments to accommodate it – of course it’s not going to sit that well.
“The two teams that are supporting it [McLaren and Alpine] either have a partnership in the US with the team, or are going to supply them an engine. The other eight are saying, ‘well hang on, why should we dilute our element of the prize fund?’
“If you introduce one or two teams, you dilute the value of the current ten franchises, which of course teams – particularly towards the bottom end of the grid – have got a very inflated inherent value at the movement.”
With the relationship between Formula 1 and the FIA at an all-time low at the moment, it seems unlikely that Andretti-Cadillac will be granted permission to join the grid anytime soon.
Despite what Mohammed Ben Sulayem says about the project, Andretti-Cadillac will need to acquire the approval of Formula 1 before joining the grid, making the FIA’s will almost useless to the project.