Mario Andretti thinks Toto Wolff is too powerful in F1 

Ex-F1 star Mario Andretti has taken a swipe at Toto Wolff, suggesting the Mercedes boss holds too much power in the sport. 
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, French Grand
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. …

Wolff has voiced his opposition to the prospect of Andretti Global joining F1, with Michael Andretti pushing to secure the American outfit’s place as the 11th team on the grid. 

Andretti submitted paperwork outlining their intent to establish a new F1 team in 2024 to the FIA in February, but there has been no significant progress since. 

The bid has been met with resistance from some of F1’s current 10 entrants, including Mercedes boss Wolff, who said in May that the Andretti organisation was yet to demonstrate it deserves to be given an F1 entry. 

Responding to a suggestion that Wolff is ‘too powerful’, Andretti, who was F1 world champion in 1978, tweeted: “This needed to be said; it’s about time.”

At the Hungarian Grand Prix, Wolff said he felt the likes of Audi would be a better option to help increase F1’s value. 

Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director in the…

"I think that whoever joins as the 11th team, whoever gets an entry, needs to demonstrate how creative they can be for the business,” Wolff explained. 

"Andretti is a great name, and I think they have done exceptional things in the US. But this is sport and this is business and we need to understand what is it that you can provide to the sport.

"And if an OEM or an international, multinational group joins F1 and can demonstrate that they are going to spend X amount of dollars in activating, in marketing in the various markets; that's obviously a totally different value proposition for all the other teams.

"With 10 franchises that we hope can increase the value, and you're certainly not going to increase the value by just issuing new franchises to people that cannot increase the overall value of Formula 1."

‘Why deprive us? We’re serious’ 

Andretti’s latest attempt to enter F1 comes after a bid to buy a majority stake in the existing Sauber-run Alfa Romeo team collapsed last year. 

After weeks of speculation surrounding a possible takeover, it emerged the deal was dead in the water soon after the United States Grand Prix in October. 

Despite the opposition, the Andretti organisation remain determined to get their way. 

- starting grid, Mario Andretti
- starting grid, Mario Andretti

“Toto mentions Audi and [he says] we'd rather have Audi as the eleventh team. In my opinion, Audi would be welcome anywhere, no question. But I don't see Audi been a start-up team,” Andretti told MotorLAT. 

“I see Audi actually merging with a top team as an engine supplier. I'll tell you why.

“You can better justify the investment because as an engine supplier with any team – you win races, the engine wins – when you don't win races, it's the team's fault. It's always like that and that's the way it is. It's fine.

“We're one of the teams that would be open for another manufacturer. We're working already with the present manufacturers to make some decisions; that's the way it works.

“You absolutely welcome manufacturers but the manufacturers come and go. We don’t come and go – we come and stay.

“Manufacturers don’t depend on the sport – we do. It’s our life. That’s all we do. We breathe this. Why deprive us from it? We’re serious about it.”

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