Liberty Media CEO says Michael Andretti in F1 “not an urgent need”

Penske Entertainment / Joe Skibinksi

Future Formula One team owner Michael Andretti encountered resistance in the F1 paddock when he spoke to current team leaders over a recent weekend for the Miami Grand Prix.

The former McLaren F1 driver and current owner of the IndyCar team is trying to persuade F1, the FIA ​​and his potential rival teams to open the door for the eleventh team to apply for 2024. One hurdle is the sport’s commercial owner, Liberty Media.

“I don’t think it’s an urgent need,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty’s chief executive at the Bloomberg event when asked about adding new teams like Andretti to Formula One.

f1 grand prize miami

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei speak at the recently held Miami F1 GP.

Jared C. TiltonGetty Images

Even the FIA, now led by Mohammed Ben Sulay, is reportedly not thrilled with the idea, although Andretti says the meeting with the new president in Miami “went well”.

“I think he supports, but there is a big process. We will not get an answer for a while,” Andretti said. – It could be until September or October.

Meanwhile, its subsidiary Andretti Global is hiring new staff, and plans for a Formula 1 plant in Indianapolis are set to begin in late summer. Andretti seems to be most repulsed by the Formula One teams themselves.

Haas team director Gunther Steiner was stronger on his return Thursday in the Miami GP week. For some, the resistance is obvious, as the eleventh team is simply diluting the value of their own franchise. Dividing the cash prize at the end of the season between 10 teams means bigger pieces for everyone.

“I think 10 teams at the moment, 10 solid teams is a good solution,” Steiner said. “We as a team, don’t need more.”

To boost the bid, Andretti went to all 10 team leaders in Miami asking them to sign a document to be presented to F1 authorities.

According to rumors, only half of them signed.

“I’m not at all surprised that some of the racing teams have a very selfish view of what should or shouldn’t happen in car racing,” said McLaren CEO Zak Brown, an American colleague.

Red Bull’s Christian Horner has hinted that Liberty Media will decide how to deal with Andretti’s offer, as well as how much compensation will be paid to other teams.

“I think it’s more of a problem with the Liberty guys,” Horner said, confirming that he met Andretti. “After all, it’s purely fiscal. Ultimately, the question for the rights holder is how much that eleventh team is worth.”

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