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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Formula 1 Expansion Isn’t Guaranteed, Says FIA Boss

  • Michael Andretti has been cleared by the FIA to launch an expansion F1 team.
  • The Formula One Management group still must approve the move.
Syndication: Austin American-Statesman

A fascinating back-and-forth is playing out in Formula 1 as the sport’s key stakeholders aren’t totally aligned on the future of the grid.

The FIA, F1’s governing body, is adamant about expanding the global racing circuit beyond the current 10 teams. Those teams, however, are pushing back on the idea of getting bigger, even as F1’s popularity continues to soar.

American racing mogul Michael Andretti’s bid to lead an 11th F1 team in partnership with General Motors’ Cadillac brand has been approved by the FIA, a major step in the expansion process. But top team principals like Mercedes’ Toto Wolff have said those wanting to enter F1 should buy an existing team rather than expand the grid.

Formula One Management — which is owned by Liberty Media — will make the final decision on expansion, and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been optimistic that it will be approved. But he admits that adding Andretti is no guarantee. 

“Anything can happen,” Ben Sulayem said. “I just hope they don’t say no because it is so good for business, so good to sustain motorsport.”

Andretti could actually compete in F1 without approval from FOM, Ben Sulayem said, but the team would be doing so without the ability to cash in on revenue — making the approval a de facto necessity.

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