Toto Wolff on Audi vs Andretti F1 entry, Mario Andretti responds

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is more positive about Audi’s Formula 1 entry, as opposed to Andretti’s. Mario Andretti gives his response.

While commenting on Andretti Global’s possible entry into Formula 1, Toto Wolff said a new team would need to demonstrate that it is adding value to the series.

While Andretti announced they are looking to enter F1 as the 21st team, Audi is also interested in entering the series, but they are looking at taking over an already existing Alfa Romeo outfit.

Wolff was asked what makes these two bids different in his view.

“I think whoever joins as an 11th team, whoever gets an entry needs to demonstrate how accretive they can be for the business,” the Austrian said.

“Andretti is a great name, they have done exceptional things in the US but this is sport and this is business.

“We need to understand what it is you can provide to the sport and if an OEM or multi-national group joins Formula 1 and can demonstrate they are going to spend X amount of dollars in activating, in marketing and in various markets, that is obviously a totally different value proposition for all the other teams.

“We have 10 franchises that we hope can increase the value and you are certainly not going to increase the value by issuing new franchises to people who cannot increase the overall value of Formula 1,” Wolff concluded.

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Upon learning of these comments, the Andretti family patriarch, 1978 champion Mario Andretti, gave his response.

“Why not Formula One? Gene Haas did it,” Andretti told MotorLAT.

“He’s not a 100% racer – we’re 100% racers. Obviously we’re experiencing some resistance – and it’s very disappointing at the moment. Are we giving up? No. I think we deserve to be there.

“Toto mentions Audi and [says] ‘we’d rather have Audi as the eleventh team’. In my opinion, Audi would be welcome anywhere, no question.”

The American added Audi is more of an engine manufacturer than a racing team, which means their team can easily leave, while Andretti would come to F1 and stay there.

“We breathe this. Why deprive us from it?” Mario concluded.

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