Red Bull F1 Team Boss Christian Horner, like most other team owners, continues to feel the Andretti Global team is incapable of designing and building their own F1 car and fielding a competitive F1 team. And he hopes “If GM chose to get involved in F1, ideally, it would be through an existing team,” not with Andretti.
–by Mark Cipolloni–
Existing F1 teams likely feel that Andretti has been unable to field a championship winning team in IndyCar, which is essentially a spec series with cars designed and built by Dallara.
F1 is 15 to 20 years ahead of IndyCar in terms of sophistication, logistics, strategy, pit stops, materials, computer software, sensors, simulations and the like.
They likely feel an Andretti designed and built car would not meet the 109% qualifying rule and be sent home every race for being too slow. If that happened, it would be a black eye for F1, Andretti and American motorsports.
Hence, why, besides the prize money dilution issue, they feel Andretti should buy into an existing team. Even if it was 50% of an existing team to start to get their feet wet.
Gene Haas recently said he has no intention of selling his failing F1 team, but would he consider a 50/50 deal with Andretti if Andretti would build a state-of-the-art factory (that Haas currently lacks) and have Haas move into it as part of a Haas/Andretti/Cadillac all-American team?
|If Andretti, Haas and Cadillac were to join together, could they field a winning F1 team?
“I’m sure a Ford GM battle…those brands have huge patriotism in the US, huge, huge followings. The Ford brand alone…
“You’re either a Ford person or a GM person, and the competition that could generate could be exciting as well,” said Horner.
Horner has questioned GM’s intentions with its power unit plan, adding: “You have to look at what is the business model behind what GM is looking to do.
“Is it their project? Is it Andretti’s project? If it’s a genuine GM project and their only option to come into F1 is through an existing franchise, in the same way Audi is doing (with Sauber), you would hope they would do the same.
“Not many years ago, there were a few insolvent teams, and it’s only in recent times that the robustness of the teams is there.
“So you can understand why the teams are reticent to expand and dilute as opposed to saying, you need to join one of the current incumbents, and that’s the nervousness of obviously, I guess, the commercial rights’ holder.”
Assessing the overall health of F1 in the US, Horner said: “If you look at the penetration, you have to recognize that a large percentage of that has come off the Netflix series.
“It has opened up that market, that we now have three races, which would have been unheard of; Ford has come back into Formula 1 which, four years ago, would have been unimaginable, and we have five Fortune 500 companies represented on our car now.
“The fan base is growing, the venues are growing, but I think what Formula 1 needs, for its long-term penetration into the US, is competitive American drivers, and a driver racing for victories.”
“There are more and more American drivers coming through the junior formulas, so it’s just a matter of time.”