Toto Wolff says Andretti Global would need to prove they have what it takes to join Formula 1 and demonstrate that the team could add value to the sport.
Michael Andretti has revealed that he is in talks with the FIA about entering a team into Formula 1 from the 2024 season onwards, having late last year unsuccessfully attempted to buy into the Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN outfit.
Wolff, the Team Principal of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, says that whilst Andretti is a big name in motorsport, they would need to show they have everything in place as mandated by the FIA financially, including the $200 million entry fee.
“Andretti is a name, that’s for sure,” Wolff is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “And the American market is important. But every team that is joining needs to be accretive, that means needs to add value.
“And it’s not only it’s not only by paying $200 million entry fee, but it needs to demonstrate in my opinion what it can do for the other teams, for F1 and FIA. Only then the sport will grow.
“We are the absolute pinnacle, this is the Champions League, or the NFL, and redistributing franchises is not the goal, that’s not how it should be, and it’s not the intention of F1 and the FIA neither.
“But if there is a real brand coming in with good people, necessary funding, not only the 200 million but probably you need more like a billion if you want to play in this club straight from the get go. And then why not?”
Christian Horner, the Team Principal of the Oracle Red Bull Racing outfit, agrees with Wolff, and says the criteria within the Concorde Agreement will need to be met by Michael Andretti’s outfit, and he insists the ten teams in Formula 1 already should not lose out by introducing an eleventh team.
“I think it’s great that there’s the interest for people wanting to enter F1,” said Horner. “The Andretti name is certainly a powerful name in motorsport. And, of course, they’re not the only ones that are making noises about coming in.
“But there are clear criteria through the Concorde Agreement that have to be met and approved.
“So I’m sure they’re engaged in that in that process. And of course, that agreement is there to protect the 10 incumbents and not to dilute that. So obviously, that would need to be carefully looked at.”