A rift between Formula 1 and the FIA appears to be growing after the governing body’s president Mohammed Ben Sulayem hit out at what he believes to be “adverse reaction” to Andretti Cadillac’s desire to enter F1.
Andretti Global and General Motors announced they would be joining forces to try and secure a place on the grid in the future after Ben Sulayem’s announcement that he had asked the FIA to look into opening up the process for Expressions of Interest from new teams. Those comments pre-empted the Andretti announcement, and F1 itself then issued a statement reiterating that “any new entrant request requires the agreement of both F1 and the FIA.”
After the lukewarm response, Ben Sulayem has posted another statement on Twitter saying F1 should be fully behind such interested parties.
“It is surprising that there has been some adverse reaction to the Cadillac and Andretti news,” Ben Sulayem tweeted. “The FIA has accepted the entries of smaller, successful organizations 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.”
Prior to the Andretti Cadillac announcement, multiple current teams had previously stated their belief that a $200 million anti-dilution fee — equivalent to $20 million per team to soften the blow of splitting revenues with a new entrant — was no longer sufficient given the sport’s growth in recent years. F1 itself also insists it has been approached by multiple prospective teams that have been less vocal than Andretti about their intentions.
The FIA has yet to formally open up the process to allow potential new entrants to register their interest, and it could take a number of months, but Michael Andretti has already said he is “very, very confident” his project will be successful.