Mario Andretti is trying to reach Toto Wolff to discuss Andretti Global’s proposal to join Formula 1 in 2024, but he has yet to return their call.
After a takeover of Sauber fell through at the last minute during the 2021 season, the Andretti family are making a renewed effort to join the Formula 1 with their own team – Andretti Global.
Formula 1 and the FIA have consistently said they would welcome the arrival of potential new teams, which will help create more opportunities for drivers to join what is quite a restricted grid with just 20 spots up for grabs.
But Andretti Global have been given a surprisingly frosty reception since making their plans known to the motorsport world. The FIA said they are not currently in a position to consider new Formula 1 teams at the moment, while the biggest disapproving voice in the paddock so far has been Mercedes boss Wolff.
“Andretti is a [significant] name, for sure, and the American market is important,” Wolff recently said..
“Every team that is joining needs to add value. It’s not only by paying a $200m entry fee, but it needs to demonstrate in my opinion what it can do for all the other teams and for Formula 1 and the FIA. Only then the sport will grow.”
Andretti has taken issue with those comments, stating that Andretti Global can absolutely justify their place on the Formula 1 grid by bringing plenty of added value.
“Toto’s going out there, ‘What do you bring to the table?’ I think we bring a lot, and I think we’ll bring a lot more than what we’ll be diluting,” Mario Andretti told the Associated Press.
“That’s our case. The American market is still untapped, but obviously with the Netflix series, that’s really brought a lot of popularity … I believe we can bring more longevity to the Netflix series to have a real American team with an American driver.
“I believe with our brand, I think it could keep a lot of interest going for a lot more years.”
But, Andretti is not stopping there to try and get his point across. According to Sports Business Journal reporter, Adam Stern, Mario has ‘tried to reach out to Toto Wolff to talk through his concerns about Andretti Global, but that Wolff hasn’t returned the calls yet.’
The Andrettis have given the FIA a one-month deadline to accept or reject their proposal.
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