Andretti effort to join F1 the most vocal of many inquiries

Aug 24, 2022, 2:03 AM | Updated: 2:04 pm
Mario Andretti, left, laughs with Rick Mears after practice for for an IndyCar auto race at the Ind...

Mario Andretti, left, laughs with Rick Mears after practice for for an IndyCar auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Saturday, July 30, 2022. Former winners at the track were gathered for a photograph on the finsh line. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

(AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Formula One has multiple inquiries from potential team owners who have taken a more behind-the-scenes approach than Michael Andretti, who has been “quite vocal” in his desire to expand the current grid, F1’s CEO said Wednesday.

Andretti has petitioned to expand the current F1 grid to 22 cars to accommodate Andretti Global, which he’s billing as a true American team. Andretti has taken that route after attempts to purchase an existing F1 team fell apart late last year.

He said this week he’s building a 575,000 square-foot facility on roughly 90 acres in Fishers, Indiana, to house Andretti Global. But he’s still no closer to landing an F1 team and Domenicali offered very little update specific to Andretti.

“The status of Formula One, it is not a problem of quantity,” Domenicali said. “It’s a matter of understanding not only the ones who have a bigger, louder voice, but there will be other people because Andretti was quite vocal about his request.

“But there are others that have done the same in a different way. So we will listen not only to Andretti, but to others that are respecting the silence on trying to be more productive on proving who they are and respecting the protocol.”

At issue is what value — if any — comes with expanding the current 20-car grid.

Mercedes head Toto Wolff has been vehemently against expansion and argued it will only decrease profits as the pot would be split between 11 teams instead of 10. But McLaren boss Zak Brown has argued adding the Andretti name would increase North American interest and signing U.S.-based sponsors based on Andretti’s participation would compensate for any dilution to the purse.

Wolff has dismissed the notion the Andretti name brings any value to F1. Mario Andretti is the 1978 F1 world champion; Michael Andretti spent one unremarkable season driving in the series.

And even though Andretti has had discussions with Renault about entering F1, Wolff has only been supportive of a potential Audi-backed effort.

“Andretti is a great name, and I think they have done exceptional things in the US,” Wolff recently said. “But this is sport and this is business and we need to understand what is it that you can provide to the sport.”

The resistance has irritated Mario Andretti, who on Twitter responded to a question asking if Wolff is too powerful for F1 with: “This needed to be said; it’s about time.”

Domenicali on Wednesday said that Wolff has earned his respect in F1 and is a credible voice in the series. He also indicated all the back-and-forth on the Andretti issue is a moot point because the decision will be made by a governing body and not Wolff and the current team principals.

“Mario, I know him very, very well, and he is trying to present his idea in a way that he thought is the right way to do that,” Domenicali said. “But I do believe there is a governance in place and the decision has to follow the process and the protocol that is in place.

“Mario is very vocal, Michael is, too. We need to respect that we may have a difference of opinions, but at the end of the day it is a matter of following the protocol and there is someone that is to make the final decision.”

___

More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Australia's Lauren Jackson poses for a selfie with a young fan following their win over Japan at th...
Associated Press

Lauren Jackson, Aussie fans enjoying her World Cup finale

SYDNEY (AP) — Thirty minutes after Australia knocked off Canada in the preliminary round of the women’s basketball World Cup, Lauren Jackson was back on the court signing autographs and posing for selfies with hundreds of adoring fans. They couldn’t get enough of the Australian star and she reciprocated the love, not wanting to leave […]
1 day ago
Germany's head coach Hans-Dieter Flick, left, shakes hands with England's head coach Gareth Southga...
Associated Press

World Cup Watch: European giants showing flaws before Qatar

LONDON (AP) — All roads now lead to Qatar. With the conclusion of the group stage of the Nations League, Europe’s top soccer countries have played their final competitive games ahead of the World Cup. Here’s how things are shaping up for a continent that has provided the last four winners of the sport’s biggest […]
1 day ago
Two Nepali sherpa guides, second right and fourth right, who survived an avalanche at a lower eleva...
Associated Press

Body of missing famed U.S. extreme skier recovered in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The body of a famed U.S. extreme skier who went missing this week after falling from the world’s eighth-highest mountain was recovered Wednesday and transported to Nepal’s capital. Hilaree Nelson, 49, was skiing down from the 8,163-meter (26,775-foot) summit of Mount Manaslu with her partner, Jim Morrison, on Monday when she […]
1 day ago
El relevista de los Padres de San Diego Nick Martínez reacciona durante el sexto inning del juego ...
Associated Press

Padres beat Dodgers 4-3 in 10 to reduce magic number to 4

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jorge Alfaro is used to being in position to walk off games. Just not with a walk-off walk. Alfaro drew a bases-loaded free pass from Craig Kimbrel with two outs in the 10th inning and the San Diego Padres beat the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 on Tuesday night […]
1 day ago
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Robbie Raywals walks through the dugout after he was pulled from ...
Associated Press

Mariners’ late slide continues with 5-0 loss to Rangers

SEATTLE (AP) — Robbie Ray has an idea for how to get the Seattle Mariners refocused and hopefully out of their late-season slide. Stop worrying about what is happening elsewhere. “For me, we’ve just got to stop looking at the scoreboard. If it was my choice, we turn that thing off. Because we need to […]
1 day ago
Los Angeles Angels' Matt Duffy (5) scores ahead of a throw to Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy...
Associated Press

Jo Adell’s 8th-inning RBI sends Angels past Athletics, 4-3

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jo Adell drove in Matt Duffy with a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning, Shohei Ohtani extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games, and the Los Angeles Angels opened their final homestand of the season with a 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night. A.J. Puk […]
1 day ago
Andretti effort to join F1 the most vocal of many inquiries