“Madmen Are Running The Asylum”: Frederic Vasseur and Toto Wolff’s Case against Andretti Faces Fierce Disapproval

Published 10/14/2023, 8:05 AM EDT

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The debate for an 11th team has sparked once again, and it’s all thanks to Andretti Autosport’s persistence. The American racing giants have consistently been trying to become a part of the circus since 2021. However, all their attempts were futile up until the American F1 hopefuls got the nod of approval from the governing body of the sport, the FIA. Ever since the FIA’s approval, the addition of an 11th team on the grid has gathered enough steam for the teams to express their opinion about it once again. As you would assume, most team bosses are against it because it would mean dilution of the funds. However, there are those who are fiercely opposing the F1 teams and expressing their own take on how the sport is being allowed to run.

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The concern we would like to highlight is from the Mercedes and Ferrari bosses. Both Toto Wolff and Frederic Vasseur have expressed their unique opinion on the matter. Both the bosses have a negative outlook toward an 11th team joining the grid despite the $200 million dilution fee. Wolff expressed his concern regarding the structure of the sensitive and exponentially growing sport, whereas the Ferrari boss pointed out the value addition.

“I think why F1 and the teams have survived in the last years is because we all stuck together,” Wolff told Motorsport.com. “The FIA, FOM and the 10 teams, we need to protect the sport. We’re holding this sensitive sport that’s growing at the moment in our hands.”

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“It’s not a secret that I am not a big fan,” confessed Frederic Vasseur. “We already have a team which is American with Haas, we have an American driver on the grid… the question for me is around this, what could be the added value?”

However, as quoted by Auto Journal, Wolff and Vasseur’s opinions have been strongly disapproved by David Dicker. The American also tried to become a part of the premier class but faced rejection. Discussing the Andretti scenario, he made some harsh assessment of the way the sport is being run currently and expressed his opinion on how the Andretti Autosport’s entry into F1 should be handled.

“The simple fact that the current teams have a say in the arrival of a new team is crazy,” he said. It’s like the madmen are running the asylum. It’s up to the people at Liberty to decide. It doesn’t concern the stables at all.” (Translated via Google) 

As Andretti’s F1 Entry Ruffles Feathers, FIA’s Verdict Plays Right Into Max Verstappen’s Hands

Andretti has tried almost every possible route into the sport, all ending in failure. However, in their nth attempt, we are not aware of how things will turn out for the American motorsport giants. However, the FIA nod is definitely a huge boost and so are the words of the FIA’s president.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem wishes teams best of luck in blocking Andretti Autosport’s entry into F1

Andretti Autosport has to literally buy their way into the sport. However, as revealed by Mohammed Ben Sulayem, some behind-the-scenes politics were focused on not disrupting the 10-team dynamic of the sport. This is exactly why the American hopefuls were linked with the purchase of AlphaTauri and Sauber, a task that was completed by Audi. However, the idea was to keep ten teams on the grid and not increase the sacred number.

However, Ben Sulayem has made an interesting revelation where he admitted he isn’t here to broker deals and serve the personal agendas of anyone.

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via Reuters

“You cannot force Andretti/GM to buy another team just because they [the owners] want to sell,” he said. In addition, he also made a statement that will be a cause for concern for all the entities not looking forward to an 11th team on the grid.

“Saying no to a team approved by the FIA? Good luck with that.”

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WATCH THIS STORY: Mario Andretti Teases Blockbuster American Formula 1 Team in 2024

It will still take a mammoth effort for Andretti-GM to enter the sport and field a team but it’s not impossible. Not anymore!

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Written by:

Mahim Suhalka

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Mahim Suhalka is a senior F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having written over 1500 articles, Mahim specializes in core sports coverage. Having followed the sport for a long time, his articles contain excellent analysis of the sport and he dives deeper into the technicalities of this complex sport.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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