F1: Andretti only team to formally express interest to join F1 – Ben Sulayem

Speaking to Autosport at the Rallye Monte Carlo about the reaction to his call for expressions of interest for teams to join F1, FIA president Mohammad Ben Sulayem said: “To us directly, it’s Andretti,” clarifying that it was “up to now” the only party to have come forward.

Ben Sulayem told Autosport he had a “good meeting” with the president of General Motors, Mark Reuss, ahead of the manufacturer’s board of directors giving the go-ahead, and questioned how such a big brand could be denied a place on the grid.

“How can we say no to a big manufacturer?” he said. “We talk about the United States, we have three races there, it’s very healthy. But I am elected not to make money, I’m elected to sustain motorsport, clearly.”

“They might say, ‘oh it’s taking our piece of the cake,’” said Ben Sulayem.

“Yes, to them – but what do you want? Maybe kick [out] five teams, and then you have more money? You can take it both ways.

“I want them to succeed, but to get more money and less money… I mean the cost cap was effective, and we’re trying to make it more effective. Imagine if you are having 145 [million] on everyone.

“But I cannot be blocking a manufacturer. Imagine me doing that. It’s wrong.”