Formula 1, its teams, and the FIA are set for a significant disagreement regarding the sanctioning of Andretti-Cadillac’s participation in the championship.
While the FIA has sanctioned Andretti’s proposal, the decision now transitions to F1 owner Liberty Media, potentially leading to intricate trade talks.
“Stefano Domenicali and FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem are like cats and dogs,” an undisclosed source divulged to f1-insider.com.
“This dispute over a possible entry of the Andretti team could now cause the spark to explode.”
The general sentiment among Liberty and many teams is a resistance to Andretti’s introduction, suggesting it diminishes the standing of current competitors.
“An eleventh team means that not only does each team have to give up more of the money pie, but also that the value of each individual team falls,” said Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko. “Of course nobody wants that.”
He also highlighted infrastructural challenges with Andretti stepping into F1.
“Most racetracks have maxed out space already,” said the 80-year-old Austrian. “Where can we accommodate an additional team in the already very narrow pitlanes?
“The hospitality facilities in the paddock would probably have to be reduced as well. And the teams have no interest in that.”
However, Renault stands as an outlier, eager to back Andretti with engines and technical aid.
“There will be a power struggle,” the anonymous informant suggests, noting another concern is that Ben Sulayem has already indicated the potential involvement of European Union anti-competitive rulings.
“It could also end in a long-running court battle,” the insider added. “And the sport will be the loser.”
Prolific Russian F1 commentator Alexey Popov expressed astonishment at Liberty’s initial retort to the FIA’s nod for Andretti.
“The problem is that Formula 1 itself immediately said ‘Well, we take note of that, now we’ll look into it’. They’ve taken note! Imagine that,” he relayed on his Youtube channel.
“You already know my opinion about the teams,” Popov added. “All of them have wonderful people but their business interests are their business interests.”
He also pointed out a potential future direction for F1 broadcast rights.
“There is this rumour that Apple is offering two billion a year,” said Popov. “But with the condition that they show everything. That is, no more television.
“No country will have its own television broadcaster,” he explained. “Want to watch Formula 1? Login into Apple TV and pay a fee.
“I’m not sure that is good news for the fans.”