Vasseur still not inclined to accept Andretti in F1

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Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur remains unconvinced by the merits of accepting Andretti-Cadillac into F1 as he questions the value the American outfit would add to the sport.

Andretti is among five teams that have filed an ‘Expression of Interest’ application with the FIA, a selection process administered by the governing body that aims to gauge the conformity of a team’s F1 project.

Andretti believes it has all the ingredients and assets – technical and financial – to become a winning contender in F1, not to mention its founding family’s notoriety and DNA, deeply rooted in decades of success in international and American motorsport.

But Vasseur sees no reason to accept an eleventh team in the sport that will dilute F1’s current prize fund while bringing little to the grid in terms of monetary value.

“My position is that the 10 teams that made huge efforts even when it was tough to be on the grid, and to survive for some of them, now that if we have to welcome another team, it has to be for mega good reasons,” the Frenchman said ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

“The fact that you have an American team is not a good reason. Because for me, first, we have an American team, thanks to Haas. And the second one is that if you want to be at the top in the country, it’s a matter of drivers.

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“Have a look at what’s happened in the Netherlands. It’s the biggest success of the world today, and they don’t have a team, they have Max.

“I think first, we have a good success in the US. If you want to increase the success in the US, it’s more a matter for me to have an American driver. It’s not about the team.”

Vasseur said his stance would be the same if a major manufacturer sought an entry into F1.

“If someone wants to join now, it has to be also to the benefit of everybody in the paddock,” he added.

“It means that they have to bring something to F1. I don’t think that the nationality of the team is an asset.”

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Andretti-Cadillac’s efforts are personally supported by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem who argues that if the team’s application passes all of the stringent criteria established by the governing body, it cannot decently reject a project supported by Cadillac’s parent company, General Motors.

But Red Bull Racing’s Christian Horner questions GM’s true contribution to Andretti’s F1 project.

“GM is a great brand, but what I’m interested in is what is their model?” Horner said, quoted by Motorsport.com.

“I don’t assume they’re going to go and build a facility like [ours]. I assume it’s a badging exercise.”

Horner also believes that GM’s association with Andretti isn’t comparable to Ford’s partnership with Red Bull.

“Ford, they’re not pretending to be an entrant in F1,” he said.

“GM are associated with Andretti at the moment, who currently don’t have an entry.

“Now, the FIA will run their process. I think, as with all these things, you’ve got the logistical issue of how to accommodate the 11th team.

“But the reality is what it really boils down to is, who’s going to pay for it? And if it dilutes the existing 10, of course, they’re going to have an issue with it.

“Liberty are not going to want to dilute their element of the income. So that’s where you end up at a stand-off.”

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The post Vasseur still not inclined to accept Andretti in F1 appeared first on F1i.com.

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