FIA president furious with Formula 1 as tensions grow

Andretti Global failed to buy the Sauber team last season, with the Americans being determined to join the Formula 1 grid.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has revealed how “surprising” it’s been to not see Andretti Global and General Motors welcomed into the F1 paddock, with the president seemingly a fan of the potential Andretti-Cadillac partnership.

The FIA and Formula 1 have been tentative when discussing the idea of a new F1 entry over recent years, with the last three having all been uncompetitive and ultimately gone within four years.

HRT, Caterham and Manor Marussia offered very little, something which has resulted in the sport only being open to new entries who will “add value” to the championship.

There is no doubt that Andretti would do just that, with the company boasting a remarkable history, without even considering CEO Michael Andretti or his father, ex-F1 World Champion Mario Andretti.

READ: Otmar Szafnauer makes surprising comment about Esteban Ocon’s aggression

Michael has worked relentlessly to get the Andretti brand onto the grid, and actually failed in a bid to buy Sauber last season.

Andretti’s new partnership with Cadillac, though, who are owned by American manufacturer General Motors, is one that at least the FIA president is a fan of.

An F1 spokesperson, though, revealed a lukewarm response to Andretti’s proposal, stating that: “great interest in the F1 project at this time, with a number of conversations continuing that are not as visible as others”, adding: “Any new entrant request requires the agreement of both F1 and the FIA.”

A known concern amongst current teams on the grid is that a new entry could result in them receiving less money, something that they are understandably not keen on.

Article continues below

Whilst there hasn’t been a public response from any team, several unnamed senior F1 team figures have been talking to the media, with Ben Sulayem having been left surprised by “some adverse reactions” to the potential all-American F1 team.

“It is surprising that there has been some adverse reaction to the Cadillac and Andretti Global news,” Ben Sulayem wrote on Twitter.

“We should be encouraging prospective entries from global manufacturers like GM and thoroughbred racers like Andretti and others.”

However, despite the FIA president appearing surprised by the reception Andretti-Cadillac received, an official FIA spokesperson stated that: “The FIA has not made any indication or comment on the potential success or otherwise of any organisations who express their interest in entering the championship.”

From the looks of it, the paddock is more concerned about what General Motors’ intentions are for joining the grid, rather than Andretti’s.

Some are concerned that the team will simply put a Cadillac badge on a Renault engine, with the French manufacturer having sold an engine to Andretti.

Cadillac’s possible intentions have been likened to Alfa Romeo’s partnership with Sauber, with the Italians badge having been slapped on a Ferrari engine cover.

READ: Romain Grosjean makes admission about Kevin Magnussen’s F1 return

Andretti do appear to be taking any proposal incredibly seriously, with Michael having given a taste of the progress that’s already been made towards formalising an official team.

“We’ve done a lot of hiring,” Andretti said last week.

“We have quite a few people already working for us. We have hired the main engineers. So yes, we’re very much down the road on that. We have our technical director already hired; we’ll announce that down the road as well.”