More Than 200 Million USD Andretti Needs to Invest, if He Wants to Enter F1

More Than 200 Million USD Andretti Needs to Invest, if He Wants to Enter F1

The Miami GP gave Formula 1 record figures, both on television and physically. The number of celebrities who attended the race are countless, and even more so the number of fans who paid for their tickets. If we have seen this in Miami, what awaits F1 in Las Vegas will be more or the same as last weekend.

In this same GP, let’s not think that there was only racing and fun. Until now, the best positioned to enter Formula 1, Michael Andretti , attended, and not only for the established. There, Andretti did business work, and he thinks that it is not enough to have three races in the United States, to attract attention in the country, a team and a driver must be added to the grid.

Haas  is the only team based in the United States, and for Andretti, it would not be a good move to take over that team. For this reason, he wants to acquire Alfa Romeo  by the year 2024 . During the GP, the son of the 1978 world champion, Mario Andretti , spoke with FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem , F1 officials and with team bosses. But, at this moment, their answer is clear:

“There are millions of people who accept it. They’re just not the right people right now.”

Andretti is one of the teams with the most presence in the world of racing. IndyCar , Indy Lights , Formula E and Supercars , specialties in which many teams would like to be. Zack Brown , CEO of McLaren and co-owner of the Andretti supercar team, believes Andretti has what it takes to make the jump to Formula 1:

“The Andretti name has a great history in Formula 1 and various forms of motorsport, and I think it would add a lot of value. A very credible racing team with a credible brand, properly resourced, I think is additive to the sport.

That the entry of the Andretti team is being so gradual is due to the fear that this project is a copy of that of HRT , Marussia , Caterham or even Manor . Above all, apart from occupying a new position, if he did not buy an internal team like Alfa Romeo, Toto Wolff , head of Mercedes , sees more disadvantages than advantages.

“We had 10 entries today, we split the prize fund between those 10 entries. We have invested considerable amounts in the last 10 years.

Each of the organizations sitting here has probably invested more than a billion in Formula 1 projects over the years. So it has to be cumulative.

If a team enters, how can you show that you are contributing more money than it really costs? Because team 11 means a 10 percent dilution for everyone else.”

Red Bull boss Christian Horner used to disagree with the Austrian, but it seems that he does on this point:

“If they want more teams, obviously they will have to dilute their share of the fund. Because it would be unfair to expect the other teams to indirectly pay for the additional new entrants.”

In the short term, for any billionaire tycoon or businessman, the 200 million dollars is a minimum value to what the teams in F1 spend year after year. For this reason, Horner cares more about a long-term project, like his with Red Bull , than an instant entry without knowing if the situation is sustainable in four years:

“This is the first time in memory that we have 10 healthy franchises. The $200 million is a significant amount of money. But in this business, when you break it down by the participants, it doesn’t amount to much. And it’s an opportunity, it’s not $200 million every year. So at the end of the day, a conversation like this will always come down to economics.”

However, Frederic Vasseur , Alfa Romeo team principal, believes that it is sustainable for now, although not so much in the long term:

“It is true that even if the 10 teams today are sustainable and we are going in a very good direction with F1 today. Maybe it won’t stay that way for the next five or 10 years. We have to be careful to avoid the situation that was before Covid and during Covid, you are in the last third of the grid only in survival mode.

The reality is that, at the moment, Andretti does not have the reliability of the other teams and institutions that make up F1, and if what he wants is to show that he can, IndyCar is the closest thing to F1. He should win it to show that he has real power and desire to take a place in F1 or buy a team. Colton Herta is, at the moment, the first asset for the team, and apart from being American, which is what Andretti wants for F1, he is a good driver.

We’ll see if Andretti enters F1, for now, the answer is a resounding no.

Samuel Edwards
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