An intriguing development in the Andretti saga


FIA president, Mohammed ben Sulayem admits "surprise" at the "adverse reaction" to the announcement that Cadillac is partnering with Andretti with the intention of entering F1.

A week ago, the FIA president welcomed in the New Year by launching an Expressions of Interest process for prospective new teams for the world championship.

Rather than react to the surprise move teams like Mercedes and Ferrari continued to issue inane tweets counting down to the start of the season, while the official F1 website also ignored the announcement.

A few days later, American manufacturing giant General Motors announced that its Cadillac brand was partnering with Andretti in a bid to join the grid, and again there was silence from the sport's official website was deafening.

F1 did issue a statement in reaction to the news, but the response was hardly likely to inspire Andretti, or indeed the many millions of fans who want to see new blood on the grid.

"There is great interest in the F1 project at this time with a number of conversations continuing that are not as visible as others," read the statement. "We all want to ensure the championship remains credible and stable and any new entrant request will be assessed on criteria to meet those objectives by all the relevant stakeholders.

"Any new entrant request requires the agreement of both F1 and the FIA," it concluded, making quite clear that any approval for the Andretti bid would need more than the FIA's approval.

This afternoon, just eight days into the New Year, Ben Sulayem took to social media once again.

"It is surprising that there has been some adverse reaction to the Cadillac and Andretti news," he tweeted, ensuring that Cadillac, Andretti, General Motors and F1 got the message by tagging them.

"The FIA has accepted the entries of smaller, successful organisations in recent years," he continued. "We should be encouraging prospective F1 entries from global manufacturers like GM and thoroughbred races like Andretti and others.

"Interest from teams in grown markets adds diversity and broadens F1's appeal."

Without wishing to sensationalise the situation, the tweet would appear to underline growing speculation of the sport's owners and governing body being at odds with one another, the FIA president seeking to make his feelings on the subject clear and open to public debate.

Other than F1's continued pouring of cold water on the Andretti bid, which appears inexplicable when one considers how Liberty Media is seeking to increase the sport's popularity in the US, the main opposition comes from Mercedes and Ferrari, both of whom have doubted the long-term worthiness of the project while using the old cliche of seeking to protect the sport's DNA - somewhat ironic when one considers that the Andretti name is synonymous with motorsport.

Ben Sulayem's tweet suggests that this goes far deeper than Andretti, and is instead aimed at highlighting Liberty's increasing desire to tighten its control on the sport, and the apparent desire to somewhat sideline the governing body.

Indeed, today's tweet suggests that F1 2023 might be about more than budget caps, Max versus Mercedes and the rest.

A battle line appears to have been drawn.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 08/01/2023
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.