Mario and Michael Andretti’s bid to join the Formula 1 grid via Andretti Global has been repeatedly shut down by F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, with the Italian claiming that it would be unwise to expand the current grid.
The project has become a lot more appealing in recent months however, as the team have partnered with American car giants General Motors to form Andretti-Cadillac.
While FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem have been very supportive of the project, claiming that having such motorsport giants in the sport could only be a good thing for F1, Domenicali has stood firm in his stance against expanding the gird.
The F1 CEO has said that Andretti-Cadillac’s approach to joining the grid has been “not smart,” claiming that being the loudest does not make their entry more likely.
Mario Andretti has now hit back at the Italian’s comments, claiming that he and his son Michael are F1 insiders.
“It should be understood where we are coming from,” he said.
“They’re racers, they’re part of the sport. But we are not new to Formula 1 either. We’re insiders.
“We know how much they love the sport, but we are the same.”
Mario Andretti entered 131 Grand Prix during his F1 career, racing for teams such as Lotus, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Williams, while his son Michael took part in 13 races for McLaren.
If Andretti-Cadillac wish to join the F1 grid in the future, they will have to change the mind of Formula 1, as the FIA alone do not have the power to add the team to the sport.
“We bring something to the party. We have General Motors and Cadillac and a huge investment in the sport,” continued Mario Andretti when asked about his bid to join F1.
“We haven’t seen a mature American team in F1 since Dan Gurney’s All-American Racers, so why not take us? The US has a huge fan base.”
The main concern from current members of the grid surrounds the finances of the deal, with many unsure who would fund Andretti-Cadillac’s arrival in F1.
The prize pot would be split an extra way should the grid expand to welcome the team, something which has alarmed both Toto Wolff and Christian Horner.