FIA president questioned about F1 “rift” amid Andretti entry saga

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has denied that the Andretti controversy will create bad blood with Formula 1.
Mohammed Bin Sulayem (UAE) FIA President (Right) and Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Formula One President and CEO (Left) on the
Mohammed Bin Sulayem (UAE) FIA President (Right) and Stefano Domenicali …

Andretti’s wish to become the 11th team on the F1 grid has been approved by the FIA but must now be decided by Formula One Management.

“There is no way it will be a rift,” Ben Sulayem told Sky. “The press can write whatever they want! 

“Look at how a relationship can be improved - fairness.

“The FIA must be strong, and has to be strong, to make sure we are up to the challenge.

“We cannot be weaker than the teams or the FOM. No way.”

Andretti’s proposed entry, with Cadillac, has caused controversy in the F1 paddock.

Many are against the addition of an extra team, and are concerned that their entry would dilute the prize money available to each team.

Michael Andretti (USA). Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Race Day.-
Michael Andretti (USA). Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Miami Grand…

“The process was not easy but the due diligence was done,” Ben Sulayem said.

“The process opening the expression of interest was a big move for the FIA.

“We have 12 teams allowed. Most of the circuits [can fit] more than 12. We had the Hollywood movie going [at Silverstone] on so we had an extra team anyway!

“It can only add to the sport.

“Look at our side as the FIA. What is our mission, our objective? Our mission is clear: promote motorsport, grow motorsport, and be fair.”

Asked if he expected the FOM to accept Andretti, Ben Sulayem said: “All the confidence. Just common sense. I could have done this process a long time ago, and approved it.

“But I took my time. Why? Listening to the others. Engaging with the FOM, with Stefano Domenicali about how to go about it.

“We asked the right questions to Cadillac and Andretti. They came back to us and there was no way we could resist them.

“It is good for the sport. I am confident it will go through.”

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