AUGUST 25, 2022

Loud Andretti may not provide value

Formula 1 is still reluctant to open the sport's paddock gates to a new American team headed by Michael Andretti.

Start, Hungarian GP 2022
© Alfa Romeo

Formula 1 is still reluctant to open the sport's paddock gates to a new American team headed by Michael Andretti.

Even this week's big news of a new global headquarters for 'Andretti Global' in Indiana are not enough to pique the interest of F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

"At the moment we don't see that adding more teams would bring us more value," he said.

F1's existing teams are also lukewarm about the Andretti project, regarding it simply as the dilution of the lucrative income paid by Formula One Management.

Domenicali appears to side with the teams - and is critical of Andretti's recent criticism of the F1 reluctance.

"There are other interested parties who express their wishes discreetly," said the Italian. "Andretti has chosen the loud way.

"There is a very clear protocol. Anyone who applies for a place in the field must be solidly positioned and committed to the long term," Domenicali added.

Indeed, the former Ferrari boss's eyes are probably elsewhere - as Audi and Porsche prepare to enter the sport in 2026, Honda considers a full return, and rumours of another carmaker interested in F1 swirl.

"If so many manufacturers are interested in Formula 1 at a time that is not easy for the automotive industry, this gives our platform the greatest credibility," Domenicali said.

"It shows that we are on the right track with our mix of innovative technology and entertainment. "If we had perhaps eight manufacturers on board in the future, there is no longer the danger that one will control everything."

He said the new engine rules in 2026 are a big step towards sustainability, but F1 is determined to be a platform that "allows manufacturers to show that there is another path".

"You have to find a balance between technical innovation, sustainability and not forgetting that you have to provide emotion and good racing. Because if not, it would not be F1," said Domenicali.

To make F1 even more immediately attractive, a further shakeup of the race weekend format is on the cards. Free practice, for one, looks set for a serious overhaul.

"The engineers and the drivers like it, but the spectators want more," Domenicali said.

"I am very determined about this. Apart from the first round on Friday, I would like points or prizes to be awarded every day, in every single session, while respecting the sacredness of the race on Sunday."

He also wants an expansion of the current three 'sprint' weekends per season to six in 2023.

"It is good that MotoGP is exploring another type of grand prix, and we are working to have six (sprint) races in 2023 and the details of the format may change," said Domenicali.