"How can we refuse GM," says Ben Sulayem


FIA president, Mohammed ben Sulayem offers hope to Andretti as he admits it would be wrong to block "heavyweight" GM entering F1.

Having opened the formal process for prospective entrants in February, the deadline passed last Friday. Now the sport has to ponder which - if any - of the bids it will accept.

Having been bidding to enter F1 for the last couple of years, Michael Andretti's hopes were given a boost when it was announced that the American outfit had partnered with Cadillac, a division of General Motors.

While the teams, and F1 itself, have shown remarkable indifference to the Andretti-Cadillac bid, Mohammed ben Sulayem admits that it would be difficult to turn down the American car manufacturing giant.

"People have to understand we are here to promote motorsport and we are here to be fair," he told AP. "The Expressions of Interest process is very robust and there is no circumstance where we can deny any teams if they fulfil the criteria to enter.

"Imagine me saying no to someone like GM? We have in the regulations that we can go up to twelve teams. I'm not breaking rules," he insisted.

"But do we allow anyone to enter?" he added. "No. But how on earth can we refuse GM? I mean, where's the common sense in this? GM is a heavyweight and when they come with Andretti, that's good for all of us.

"I don't blame some of the teams for being reluctant," he admitted, "or refusing or rejecting, let's say, because people want to sit within their own area, which means that there is no one new coming that will even challenge them. Challenge them with maybe the performance or the financial benefits. But we believe that the conditions are right for new entrants for F1."

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Published: 06/07/2023
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