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Michael Andretti slams ‘greedy’ owners’ response to proposed new US team



Ichael Andretti called Formula 1 team owners “greedy” and claimed that they put self-interest before sport was the reason for the lukewarm reaction to his bid to bring an all-American team to the series.

F1 owners have expressed indifference to last week’s announcement that Andretti Global and the General Motors Cadillac brand are joining forces in a bid to become the sport’s 11th team.

Andretti, who has doggedly pursued an F1 team for several years, hit back in an interview with Forbes, blaming the lukewarm reception on “greed”.

“It’s all about the money,” Andretti told Forbes. “First they think they’re going to get a tenth of their price watered down, but then they also get very greedy thinking we’ll take all the American sponsors as well.

“It’s all about greed and looking at each other and not looking at what’s best for the overall growth of the show.”

An all-American team backed by automotive giant General Motors with an American driver would seem like an attractive opportunity for Formula 1, which has made inroads into the US market, where three races (Miami, Austin and Las Vegas) will take place this season.

But a major hurdle is the dilution of teams’ revenue share and the feeling that the current registration fee of $200m/£165m, which would be shared among the existing 10 teams as compensation, seems now too cheap.

While the Andretti/GM offer appears to have ticked all the right boxes, other deep-pocketed groups have also been sniffing around Formula 1 with German sports car maker Porsche and Honda showing interest.

The Andretti plan, however, is not without strong backing. The head of the sport’s governing body (FIA), Mohammed Ben Sulayem, expressed his support, but the commercial rights holder and F1 teams were less enthusiastic.

“In Formula 1, the owners take care of themselves; not what’s best for the series,” said Andretti, who also revealed in the Forbes article that he was looking to add a NASCAR Cup Series team to his motor racing stable which includes IndyCar and Formula E.

“President Mohammad is concerned about the future of sport. Mohammad understands.

The process of adding a possible new outfit will follow strict protocols. Even if accepted, a new team could not enter until 2026 at the earliest.

Andretti, son of 1978 F1 world champion Mario, has an outstanding track record as a team owner and businessman, but it’s Project 1001, led by Dan Towriss, that Forbes says provides the capital investment for company F1.

“Without them, this wouldn’t happen,” Andretti said. “They are the backbone of it all.

“It will take a long time to get there, but eventually we want to be one of the best teams in Formula 1. Our end goal is to compete for the world championship in five or six years.”

Additional Reuters reporting.

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