F1 risks looking foolish if it does not accept Andretti entry

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Andretti has cleared the first hurdle in its quest to join the
grid after the FIA, the series' governing body, approved
its entry. The American team will now enter into “commercial
discussions” with commercial rights holders Liberty Media, who
will then decide whether they will grant the entry full approval.
It's well-documented how much the existing teams have been
resistant to the idea of opening the grid up to more teams, not
least because they stand a chance of losing a lot of prize pot
money. But not accepting Andretti on this basis alone would risk
making F1 look – in the words of 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti
– snobbish and resistant to growth. A new entry that aligns with
F1's recent goals In the last 10 years the United States has went
from having no F1 race, to now having the most races in any one
country. The Circuit of the Americas paved the way for the
championship's great comeback in the states after a controversial
exit in 2007, with Miami showing what could be possible if you want
to cater to growing demand. Now F1 will make its way to Las Vegas
in November, in what is set to be one of the most expensive and
lavish Grand Prix on the calendar. Having a team with the legendary
Andretti name will further add to the growth plans in the country,
not least if they are bringing onboard Cadillac as an engine
partner – part of one of the biggest automakers in the world in
General Motors. Andretti's goals of opening up a brand new racing
headquarters in Fishers, Indiana while also operating outside of
Europe, represents an important shift needed for F1 to diversify
team operations as six out of the current 10 base themselves in the
UK. Andretti has already proven themselves Andretti already has
proven it can operate in some of the world's premier motorsport
categories, with their portfolio ranging from IndyCar, the
all-electric Formula E and Extreme E, sportscar series IMSA, and
Australian Supercars. In total, it has won the Indianapolis 500 six
times and the IndyCar title four times, while it also recently won
the Formula E Drivers' Championship with Jake Dennis. The proposal
to link up with Cadillac does not look any more different to Haas,
whose Ferrari technical partnership enabled them to join, or other
‘privateers' such as Red Bull, Williams, or McLaren. The FIA's
rigorous analysis will have already proven they can sustain
themselves financially, so it stands to reason that Andretti should
be given a shot at competing for the ultimate motorsport prize. F1
should welcome competition The days of F1 prior to Liberty Media
were characterised by self interest and greed among those who ran
the championship, and the teams participating. Since the takeover
by one of the biggest media conglomerates in the world, F1 has been
put back on the map as an entertaining and viable spectator sport.
By not accepting a credible 11th entry, it could risk looking like
the shadow of its former self and resistant to competition.
Andretti has given F1 enough reasons why they should be on the
grid, and that's more than can be said for some of the entrants
that joined during the 2010 intake.

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