Formula 1 | Andretti ‘positive’ after chatting with FIA president

Michael Andretti revealed in February that he wanted to sign his own Formula 1 team by 2024, after talks to buy Sauber failed last year.

The starting grid membership process requires the FIA ​​to issue a formal call for expressions of interest for new entries, but at this stage nothing has been published.

The American, however, met with FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem this Friday in Miami, and he seemed positive at the end of this interview.

« I think he supports us, but there’s a big procedure we have to go through, » he said in the Florida circuit paddock.

« He said he supported the process. There is still a long way to go. But it’s good, Mohammed liked what we presented to him. »

« I don’t want to say too much because they don’t want to talk too much about it. But there are positives. »

Andretti also spoke to Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei.

« I spoke to Greg and told him to drop the tender because we’ll beat everyone. But if he wants to do one, no worries, that’s all I’m asking for. ‘have a chance to be the 11th team. Let us try. We have excellent investors. Money is not the problem.’

Andretti hopes to start building its factory in August

Although Andretti « don’t expect to receive a definitive answer any time soon »he already has plans for building a factory in Indianapolis, which he « hope to be able to start in August. »

« We’re spending money to get the ball rolling, because we really hope it gets done. »

« We are taking a risk, but I think it is worth it. Because we have to get started. We are hiring staff among other things. »

Andretti faced with mixed reaction from some team principals

The possible arrival of the American entity as the eleventh Formula 1 team is not necessarily to everyone’s taste in the paddock.

Toto Wolff (Mercedes F1) said for example in March that a new team should « show what she can bring to other teams, to F1 and to the FIA, » while Günther Steiner (Haas F1) said in Miami that « 10 teams was the right number » for the moment.

But for Andretti, « 10 teams is not the right number. »

“When you think about it, there will be new Concorde Accords that will be signed in 2025, and Red Bull, who have two teams, could decide to walk away and then we would only have 16 cars left on the starting grid. . »

« You can’t have a race with just 16 cars, or even 18. It gives more weight to a result to have additional teams. »

When asked if he was surprised by the lukewarm reactions in the paddock to his possible arrival, Andretti says that « Millions of people love this idea. It’s just not the right people right now. »

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