Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has condemned Michael Andretti’s comments, with which he accuses the current teams of greed, in an extensive interview with “Sky Sports”. In it he also questions the American’s aggressive lobbying for a place in the premier class.
In general, Formula 1 is not dismissive of Andretti, emphasizes Domenicali: “We welcome everyone who brings added value to racing. It’s not a problem of not being welcome, because that was the wrong wording.”
“Andretti has very clearly stated his will to get into Formula 1,” continues the Formula 1 CEO, making it clear: “In my opinion it was not wise to say that the teams are greedy for themselves protection.”
Andretti, who is aiming for entry into Formula 1 together with General Motors, had recently expressed annoyance about the skepticism of the existing ten teams regarding his participation. He publicly criticized them for being “very greedy” and not having the best for the sport in mind.
Domenicali thinks that’s wrong. “But that’s my opinion. However, there are others who say much less loudly that they would like to come to Formula 1. I discussed it very openly with them. And I told them that I would behave differently.” , reveals the manager.
Andretti is treated like everyone else
Like any other potential newcomer, Andretti will have to follow a due process to apply: “We will ensure that together with the FIA and if all the elements are in place they will be very welcome.”
Nevertheless, Domenicali also shows understanding for the concerns of the current Formula 1 teams. “It’s important to protect the growth of the sport and the sustainability of the teams that invested in Formula 1 when it was different,” he said.
Because: “The value of these investments today, from a purely commercial point of view, is very different than it was a few years ago. So I think that the process will be carried out seriously and in the right way. And nobody will make a decision let it go just because someone gets loud.”
“It seems as if it’s about a personal negative attack on Andretti. That’s not the case,” Domenicali clarifies and confirms: “We have to be very serious and professional when evaluating all the elements.”
Domenicali doesn’t want to come and go
Formula 1 is primarily concerned with a sustainable, long-term commitment, because it wants to avoid manufacturers suddenly pulling out again or private teams like Caterham, Manor and HRT coming and going on an uncertain basis.
“Whoever joins the Formula 1 family has to be really strong in terms of a sustainable plan for the future,” emphasizes the Formula 1 CEO. “One of the problems in recent years has been that so many teams have come in and out. We have to make sure we avoid that for the good of the sport going forward.”
When asked what the accession process looks like, Domenicali says: “The call for proposals is not out yet. It will be published soon because we have to decide together. And that will happen very, very soon. I think at the beginning of March.”