Jul.10 (GMM) Even the doubling of the entry fee to an eye-watering $400 million may not be enough to secure Andretti a place on the Formula 1 grid.
Michael Andretti was a McLaren driver in 1993 and now at the head of one of the best-known motor racing empires in the United States.
And yet, Formula 1, the FIA and most existing teams are not enthusiastic about opening the paddock gates to an eleventh team.
Renault-owned Alpine, however, has offered to work with Andretti as engine and technical partner.
“We have spoken to Michael but first he has to manage to enter Formula 1,” team boss Otmar Szafnauer told Speed Week.
Initially, a whopping fee of $200 million was required for a new entrant, but rival teams now say that isn’t enough to compensate for the diluted income pie.
Roger Benoit, the well-connected veteran journalist who writes for the Swiss newspaper Blick, believes even a doubling of the fee to $400m will not suffice.
Andretti, the son of F1 legend Mario, expressed his frustration in a recent interview with GQ magazine, describing F1 as a “European club” with a “very snobbish approach”.
Gunther Steiner, boss of F1’s only current American team, hit out at Andretti for making the remarks.
“I don’t know what he’s trying to achieve with these comments,” he said in Austria.
“It’s not really our decision to give him a licence or not, you know. We have got an opinion but I don’t think we can decide that one.
“We don’t know what he presented to the FIA and FOM but in my opinion, these comments are not constructive but you live by your choices,” Steiner added.