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Toto Wolff

Wolff offers assessment on OEMs in F1

Now the American entity Andretti is following the official FIA channels to express interest to join the grid, Toto Wolff praised the team for being a "fantastic brand" earlier in the season.

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The news that Andretti wanting to join the grid should not come as a surprise to the Formula 1 world.

During the US Grand Prix weekend both Michael and Mario Andretti made it an open secret that they wanted to join the grid, but at that stage it looked like an effort to purchase a team rather than enter as a new entity.

Now with backing from Cadillac, one of the worlds largest carmakers, the Andretti name looks set to become F1's latest attempt from the US after Haas joined in 2016.

Although the news has been met with caution from F1's commercial rights holder, there is still excitement among the teams, with Toto Wolff saying at the US GP that he thought the Andretti name coupled with a large automaker should be a "fantastic add on."

"I think Andretti is a fantastic brand and they've shown in many other series that they can be competitive," Wolff had previously told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"What I've said before is 'What can you add to the show?' if I'm trying to join up with a big auto company and manufacturer that would invest the same amount of money and activation in the promotion and advertising in the racing - which is what we do - it would be a fantastic add-on."

Wolff: F1 'very difficult' as a private team

With the FIA opening up the 'expression of interest' process to prospective teams, Wolff believes any new entity would need to have an OEM as a partner - much like the arrangement Andretti has with Cadillac.

"I think it's very difficult as a private team - you see with the few private teams that we have in F1 - to get on your feet and be successful because the odds are against you," he explains.

"Everybody now in F1, including Sauber has an OEM as a partner, the only ones who are not is Williams and Haas. But without any doubt, I believe in those structures that have been here for a long time, especially Williams."

Wolff adds that he thinks any new American team would need to be competing up front, as F1 increases its popularity in the country.

He added: "If we were to add an American team I'm absolutely up for it, but what are you bringing? What are you bringing to the show? Because that team needs to be up at the front with an American driver and that is super good for all of us."

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