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Vasseur dismisses prospect of Andretti as F1’s 11th team

Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur says Formula 1 does not need an 11th team and has dismissed potential entrant Andretti’s American roots as not enough to justify an entry.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari

Photo by: Alessio Morgese

Andretti is the highest profile contender of the teams that have indicated an interest in joining the grid, and an answer is expected soon on whether any of the contenders have been successful.

However, the incumbent teams who face a dilution of their future income have made it clear that any new entrant has to bring something valuable to the table and that benefits the series, which is a view echoed by F1 boss Stefano Domenicali.

Andretti has bolstered its bid by hooking up with Cadillac to badge a Renault power unit, but Vasseur insists that pitching the project as all-American is not enough.

"My position is that the 10 teams that made huge efforts even when it was tough to be on the grid, and to survive for some of them, now that if we have to welcome another team, it has to be for mega good reasons," he said.

"The fact that you have an American team is not a good reason. Because for me, first, we have an American team, thanks to Haas. And the second one is that if you want to be at the top in the country, it's a matter of drivers.

"Have a look on what's happened in the Netherlands. It's the biggest success of the world today, and they don't have a team, they have Max.

"I think first, we have a good success in the US. If you want to increase the success in the US, it's more a matter for me to have an American driver. It's not about the team."

Michael Andretti on the grid

Michael Andretti on the grid

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz / Motorsport Images

Asked if he’d think differently if a major manufacturer team wanted to enter F1, he said: "I have to say it again, that we made collectively a big effort. If someone wants to join now, it has to be also to the benefit of everybody in the paddock.

"It means that they have to bring something to F1. I don't think that the nationality of the team is an asset."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner remains sceptical about Cadillac’s involvement in the Andretti project.

"GM is a great brand, but what I'm interested in is what is their model?" Horner said. "I don't assume they're going to go and build a facility like [ours]. I assume it's a badging exercise."

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When it was suggested that it could be compared the Ford/Red Bull Powertrains deal, he said: "Yes, but Ford, they're not pretending to be an entrant in F1.

"GM are associated with Andretti at the moment, who currently don't have an entry.

"Now, the FIA will run their process. I think, as with all these things, you've got the logistical issue of how to accommodate the 11th team.

"But the reality is what it really boils down to is, who's going to pay for it? And if it dilutes the existing 10, of course, they're going to have an issue with it.

"Liberty are not going to want to dilute their element of the income. So that's where you end up at a stand-off."

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