Ben Sulayem “surprised” by “adverse reaction” to Andretti-Cadillac F1 bid | 2023 F1 season


FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem says he is “surprised” by the “adverse reaction” to Andretti and Cadillac’s announcement that they will team up for a bid to join Formula 1 as a new entry.

Ben Sulayem announced recently that Formula 1’s governing body would open up an expressions of interest process to evaluate possible new teams joining the F1 grid in future seasons. Soon after, Andretti confirmed its intention to apply to join Formula 1 in partnership with GM brand Cadillac, which Ben Sulayem publicly welcomed

However, there remains notable opposition to any new teams joining Formula 1 from both existing teams and F1 itself. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has previously stated he does not believe additional teams are needed in the championship, while an unnamed senior team source told Reuters that Andretti’s chances of being successful in its bid remained ‘highly unlikely’ and that a ‘strong majority’ of current teams were against adding any new competitors to the grid.

Formula 1 introduced an anti-dilution fee of $200m for any new entries into the regulations to try and limit how much funding the existing ten teams will lose in having to share prize money and TV payment money among each other. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has previously said accepting new teams would mean reduced funding for current teams.

“An 11th team means a 10% dilution for everybody else,” said Wolff. “If one is able to demonstrate that, then we should all be sitting at the table and cheer for such an entry. But that hasn’t been demonstrated yet.”

However, in a post on social media today, FIA president Ben Sulayem expressed his view that the Andretti-Cadillac application was only a positive thing for Formula 1.

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

“The FIA has accepted smaller, successful organisations in recent years. We should be encouraging prospective F1 entries from global manufacturers like GM and thoroughbred racers like Andretti and others. Interest from teams in growth markets adds diversity and broadens F1’s appeal.”

Ben Sulayem has said the process of evaluating possible new entries into Formula 1 would take several months. Any new teams who are approved would most likely join when the new power unit formula is introduced in 2026.

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