Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali told Michael Andretti to be less vocal about his hopes to enter the sport and believes his decision to call the teams greedy was “not smart.”
Andretti has partnered with General Motors to put together an entry bid for a spot on the F1 grid, with the FIA officially opening up the process to allow submissions at the start of February. However, with F1 keeping itself distanced from any new team bids at this stage, Domenicali says it’s a stance that doesn’t just apply to Andretti Cadillac even if he feels Michael Andretti has spoken out of turn at times.
“First of all, we are very welcoming of everyone that is bringing value to the racing,” Domenicali told Sky Sports F1. “I know them very, very well of course – Michael and Mario for many years – that is not a problem of not welcoming, that has been a wrong wording.
“I think we need to respect everyone. There are teams like Mario Andretti and Michael Andretti being very vocal about their will to enter Formula 1 – in my view (it is) not smart to say that teams are greedy to protect themselves, but that’s my opinion. But there are others that are much less vocal that would like to come into
“So there is a process to respect and we will make sure together with the FIA that the process will be respected. And if all the elements are there, they will be very welcome. There are a lot of dimensions to consider and we don’t have to overreact because someone is pushing the system.
“We need to take action because today what is more vital is to protect the growth of the sport and also the sustainability of the teams that have invested in Formula 1 in the times that were different. So the value of that investment today from a pure commercial point of view is much more different than it was just a couple of years ago.
“The process will be done seriously in the right way and nobody can say that they will be (pressured) into the right decision because someone is shouting and someone is shouting less.
“I do believe that this is a great sign that Formula 1 is becoming the center of a lot of attention for someone that before wasn’t very attracted by us.”
Domenicali says he also informed Andretti that it would be better served not trying to gain support for an entry bid in the public domain while other teams are being less vocal about their plans.
“I’ve discussed that with them very openly and I said to them that I would have acted a different way.
“I would say we need to be prudent. It seems there is a personal negative attack on Andretti and that is not the case. We need to be serious and professional in evaluating all the elements. Now more and more if you are able to join Formula 1 you need to be really strong in terms of a sustainable plan for the future.
“What has been the problem of the past years is we had so many teams coming in and out, and we need to make sure we protect that for the future for the best of the sport.”