Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has suggested that Michael Andretti’s comments about Formula 1 were ill-judged and counterproductive.
Andretti, who finished third in Le Mans in 1983 and scored a podium for McLaren in 1993, has submitted an application on behalf of the Andretti Group to the FIA to have a team on the grid in 2024.
He previously attempted to purchase the Sauber Group in 2021, but this move never materialised, so his focus has now switched to creating his own team.
However, the presence of another team in the pinnacle of motorsport would dilute the prize fund, so an entry fee must be paid.
This is a one-time fee of $200 million in the team’s first season to offset the decrease in prize money the other teams would get, but there is now an argument that this is not enough.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has been vocal about inflation in recent months regarding the budget cap – which has now been increased by 3.1% – and he previously indicated that more money should be asked of prospective teams so that other teams on the grid are not left worse off.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff also said that a new team would have to prove that they can bring more money in that they are costing others.
With other teams revolting against the fact that they might be forced to take a smaller slice of pie at the end of the 2014 season, Blick journalist, Roger Benoit, has predicted that even $400 million will not be enough to offset the loss of income for the others, and this irked Andretti.
The son of 1978 champion, Mario, called F1 a “European club with a very snobbish approach” when talking to GQ Magazine.
Steiner, who is the team principal of the only American team in F1, does believe Andretti is doing himself or his team any favours by hitting out at the sport like that.
“I don’t know what he’s trying to achieve with these comments,” he said.
“It’s not really our decision to give him a licence or not, you know. We have got an opinion but I don’t think we can decide that one.
“We don’t know what he presented to the FIA and FOM but in my opinion, these comments are not constructive but you live by your choices.”
Renault, meanwhile, would be interested in providing power to the Andretti team, but Otmar Szafnauer – team principal of the Renault’s sports brand side Alpine – affirmed that the American has to find a way into the sport before negotiations can start.
“We have spoken to Michael but first he has to manage to enter Formula 1,” he told Speed Week.
A new team in the shape of Andretti would open the door for Colton Herta to enter F1; he currently drives for the Andretti IndyCar team.