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Mario Andretti

Andretti hits back at Wolff: We deserve more respect

Following a lukewarm response from Toto Wolff on the feasibility of Michael Andretti's proposed F1 entry, Michael's father Mario has some harsh words for the Mercedes team boss.

Former F1 World Champion Mario Andretti has hit back at Toto Wolff's dismissive comments about the contribution an Andretti-led team could make to F1.

Andretti first revealed in February that 'Andretti Global' had applied to the FIA for a Formula 1 entry from the 2024 season, claiming that the prospective squad, which would be led by his son Michael, "has the resources and checks every box".

However, while some team bosses have welcomed Andretti's mooted entry, Wolff has been noticeably cool on the idea, saying the operation needs to show that it will continue to add value to F1.

"Toto Wolff spoke very openly about our credibility," Andretti told Auto Motor und Sport.

"However, he speaks to me in a different way to that.

"I find the public criticism very disrespectful because we have been active in motorsport for much longer than he has.

"I respect his success so far, but he has no reason to look down on us."

			© XPB
	© XPB

It would be different under Bernie, says Andretti

Under the terms of F1's Concorde Agreement, any new entrant into F1 must pay a $200 million anti-dilution fee to be distributed among the 10 existing teams, to compensate them for the extra outfit now sharing the sports' prize purse.

Andretti also criticised F1's owners Liberty Media for not yet having approved the mooted Andretti entry, and suggested that previous owner Bernie Ecclestone would have done so by now.

"The FIA is very open to us, and we have fulfilled all the requirements," said Andretti.

"Now we are waiting for them to give us the number of what it costs to pay the teams to let us in.

"We know it's in the $200 million range. They may want more, but we're still waiting for feedback. To me, it's a bit unreasonable.

"It would be different with Bernie [Ecclestone, who was F1's CEO until 2017]. Liberty gives the teams too much say."

Andretti team 'to have Renault engines'

Despite uncertainty over the feasibility of the project, Andretti told RacingNews365.com earlier this year that the operation will be based in England, with additional plans to set up Formula 2 and Formula 3 teams under the Andretti banner going forward.

Andretti had also previously stated that a deal had been agreed for the new team to run Renault power units, and insisted that the group's partners, personnel and expertise were of the standard required for F1.

"They always ask us how we want to be competitive," Andretti added.

"I say, 'Let that be our problem!' You don't know our preparations. We don't have to hire any new people – we have experienced people who have the necessary knowledge.

"On the financial side, we have credible partners who are aware of the size of the project.

"We've been planning our program for a long time because it's all we want. We deserve more respect."

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