Unconvinced About Andretti’s Entry, Red Bull Chief Christian Horner Addresses the “Elephant in the Room”

Published 02/11/2023, 12:30 PM EST

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via Reuters

The Andretti-F1 saga, which started last year, seems nowhere near its end and is certainly spicing up as the days pass. With no consensus with the FIA, F1 seems to be fighting against its governing authority as well as motorsports giant Andretti over the prize dilution upon Andretti’s entry as the 11th team on the grid in 2026. Two of the current ten teams appear to support the American company partnering with Cadillac, while the remaining eight continue to be skeptical about the idea behind the expansion.

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The battle of words continues with Red Bull boss Christian Horner launching a new attack on Andretti while citing a new reason for his disapproval. But this new reason doesn’t mean that he agrees with the $200 million anti-prize dilution fee. It comes in addition to that, as he believes Andretti should just take over an existing team, just like Red Bull, Mercedes, Aston Martin, and others have done, continuing to exist just by the transfer of ownership over the decades.

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“There’s absolutely nothing against Andretti, they’re great people and Cadillac is a wonderful brand, but we need to come up with a criteria for 2026 that doesn’t diminish the value of, particularly, the smaller teams, and deals with the elephant in the room of: who is actually going to pay for it?” Horner told the Daily Mail, as quoted by the Crash.

“There is, of course, also the practical elements of: are there enough garages at some of these new venues that we go to, to accommodate an 11th team? It needs to be dealt with in the right way,” he added, citing logistics as an issue behind the addition of Andretti to Formula 1.

So far, only Alpine and McLaren have backed Andretti’s move. Previously, the Red Bull boss cited the two teams’ personal motives and benefits behind the move as he voiced his strong opposition.

Christian Horner is not against Andretti

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Christian Horner has been leading the pack of opposition along with Toto Wolff. The two have been vocal but also utterly cautious when dealing with the American giants. So, this time the Red Bull boss has clearly specified that he doesn’t have anything against Andretti or Cadillac, but rather the entry of the 11th team, as he went on to praise the automobile companies.

via Reuters

He said, “Andretti is a great team, Mario Andretti is a name synonymous with Formula One… Cadillac, GM, is one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world. So it would be great to see them in the sport, but it’s just got to be done properly.”

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WATCH THIS STORY: Like Lewis Hamilton, Daunting NASCAR Option Once Had Daniel Ricciardo Simply Saying No

The conflict, which started with concerns over prize dilution, has now unraveled several more layers, with accusations going beyond that. The issue needs to be resolved soon, and with Liberty Media staying silent on it so far, it is bound to bloat up further.

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Written by:

Manan Goel

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Manan Goel is a Formula 1 author at EssentiallySports. As a literature student at Delhi University, he had been a geek for fiction and a nerd for sports. He claims Sebastian Vettel was his first love after seeing him at the Indian Grand Prix, and he has been a fan of the sport and Red Bull ever since.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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