The International Motorsport Federation has approved Andretti’s entry into Formula 1, but Ferrari and other teams are not convinced of its added value and fear the revenue will have to be shared among more teams; Frederic Vasseur argues that success in the U.S. is more about having a successful American driver than an American team.
‣ The FIA is enthusiastic about Andretti’s entry into Formula 1, considering the project feasible and a potential addition to the sport.
‣ Liberty Media and existing teams are hesitant about Andretti’s entry, fearing that the sport’s exclusivity and earnings distribution among teams could be affected.
‣ Frederic Vasseur, on behalf of Ferrari, believes that the success of Formula 1 in a country is more about the drivers than the nationalities of the teams, citing Max Verstappen‘s popularity in the Netherlands as an example.
‣ Vasseur suggests that for Formula 1 to be successful in the United States, it would be more beneficial to have a successful American driver rather than an American team.
So, Andretti, are we breaking into Formula 1 or what? The Yanks are all for it. But Formula 1? They’re not quite on board yet. Even Frederic Vasseur, Ferrari’s man, isn’t sold on what Andretti brings to the table.
The FIA? They’re all smiles. They’d love to see an eleventh team on the grid. A bunch of teams have shown interest in joining F1, but only Andretti got the green light from the International Motorsport Federation. They reckon the Andretti project is doable and that the Americans would be a good fit for the sport.
But Liberty Media and the teams? They’re stuck in a rut. Liberty Media wants to keep the sport as exclusive as possible. Makes the circus more valuable, they say. The teams? They’re worried about their earnings. They fear that the money they make will soon be split between 11 teams instead of 10. They’re only willing to roll out the welcome mat for Andretti if the pie gets bigger. But they’re not holding their breath.
Verstappen as an example
F1 has a ton of growth potential in the US. The three Grands Prix help, sure. But an American team? That could be a game-changer. Or so they say. Vasseur begs to differ. “It’s more about the drivers than the teams’ nationalities. F1 thrives where the drivers thrive.” He points to Max Verstappen as an example. Motorsport’s king class is a big hit in the Netherlands, and they don’t even have a team. Vasseur also thinks that a second US team in F1 won’t make much of a difference. After all, Haas F1, a US team, has been in the game for years.
“Success in the US? It’s more about having a successful American driver than an American team,” Vasseur told Motorsport-Total.com. Logan Sargeant debuted for Williams last year, but he didn’t exactly set the world on fire. The rookie only scored one point in 22 weekends.
What Andretti could do is promise to put an American driver in one of their cars. That might change Vasseur’s tune a bit. But the bottom line remains: the pie has to get bigger. Andretti’s ready and raring to go, but F1? Not so much.