Zak Brown

Formula 1 News: Brown supports Andretti-Cadillac entry

McLaren F1 boss Zak Brown and Michael Andretti are business partners in their Supercars team in Australia, but fierce competitors in IndyCar and Extreme E.

–by Mark Cipolloni–

Andretti also partnered with Brown to run Fernando Alonso in the Indy 500 back in 2017.  Growing up, Brown was a fan of Michael’s father Mario when he drove professionally.

Fernando Alonso 2017 Indy 50 practice
Fernando Alonso 2017 Indy 500 practice

Andretti Global has partnered with Cadillac to enter F1 as the 11th team and, after a rigorous bidding process, was approved by the governing of the sport – the FIA.

However, there has been much pushback from the ten existing F1 teams to expansion of the grid to 11 teams as they are concerned about the loss of prize money long term.

Despite the $200 million anti-dilution fee Andretti would have to pay to enter F1 to offset some of their loss, there have many negative statements made by the existing team owners about Andretti’s bid.

How Does Zak Brown Feel About the Andretti-Cadillac entry?

Brown has to kiss up to Toto Wolff because McLaren gets its F1 engines from Wolff’s Mercedes team. Wolff has been opposed to expanding the grid to 11 teams and he is politically connected and exerts a lot of influence.

Asked to outline the pros and cos of a potential Andretti entry, Brown told the Track Limits podcast: “The pros is they can help grow the pie.

“That pie can be fans, first and foremost; that can be television revenue; that could be increased exposure in a certain market that helps to bring in more sponsors; excitement on the racetrack.

“The downside is if the pie doesn’t get larger, and then you’re just divvying up the same-sized pie, and that’s where I think the majority of the the teams are.

“I think all of us are not that informed on what the actual proposal is, so everyone is running around with an opinion. I’ve not seen specifically what’s on the table.

“My view is as long as it’s additive to the sport – brings in more fans, brings in more revenue, brings in better television contracts, whatever that may be – if it makes the pie larger I’d rather have one 11th of a pie that’s 1,000 times than one tenth of one that’s 100 times.

“But ultimately the teams don’t have a vote in the matter, so we just need to be dependent upon Formula 1 and the FIA to make that decision as to whether they feel it’s additive.

“I think everyone has an opinion, but not anyone is that educated on actually what the proposition is.”

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