Michael Andretti says opposition to the Andretti Cadillac project from other Formula 1 teams comes down to “greed”, but that F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is encouraged by the program’s General Motors link.
GM and Andretti announced its plans to partner on an F1 entry shortly after the FIA opens up its Expressions of Interest for new teams to join the grid last week, with FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem welcoming the move. Andretti has faced opposition to his plans up to now and says pushback from existing teams is due to fear that they will get less revenue.
“It’s all about money,” Andretti told Forbes. “First, they think they are going to get diluted one-tenth of their prize money, but they also get very greedy thinking we will take all the American sponsors as well.
“It’s all about greed and looking at themselves and not looking at what is best for the overall growth of the series.”
However, despite hitting out at the teams, Andretti says F1 and the FIA themselves are more supportive, even though the sport warned there are many interested parties wanting to join the grid.
“In Formula 1, the owners look out for themselves; not what is best for the series,” Andretti said. “That is the difference between President Mohammed’s position and the team owner’s position. President Mohammed is looking out for the future of the sport.
“Mohammed gets it. He’s a racer and he understand the series needs to have one or two more teams. It is an FIA championship, and it holds most of the cards to get the Expression of Interest going.
“Stefano was very happy when we brought up the name ‘Cadillac.’ It’s going to be huge for Formula 1, as well. Formula 1 is growing so much in the United States, to bring General Motors and Cadillac into Formula 1 was very big for all sides considered. It’s a powerful thing to bring Formula 1 into the United States.”
Describing Zak Brown and Alpine as “two very good allies” to the project, Andretti says those who believe Cadillac would just be a sponsor are mistaken and he is determined to prove his opponents wrong.
“Cadillac will be very much involved in the manufacturing of the car,” he said. “If we get in, in 2025, there won’t be a new engine yet, so we would have to go with a formula that is used now, but in 2026 there are various things we can do with another engine manufacturer. It would not be a badged engine, because there would be intellectual property from Cadillac in that engine, so that is not a badged engine.
“You have to stay focused on your job and not listen to the naysayers. I actually use the naysayers as motivation. It’s always fun to shut them up.”