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Ben Sulayem assures: 'We can have 12 teams'

Ben Sulayem assures: 'We can have 12 teams'

9 January - 16:40 Last update: 17:19


FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has sent a message to Formula 1 teams and their attitude towards new teams. Quoted by Soymotor, Ben Sulayem once again stressed that he would like to see more teams on the grid.

The announcement of the collaboration between Andretti and Cadillac to get a new team into Formula 1 could not exactly count on the warm reception Andretti had probably hoped for. Reportedly, only McLaren and potential engine supplier Alpine are open to Andretti joining, with the other teams and Formula 1 together still pushing back against Andretti's efforts. In addition, Andretti now actively faces competition as both billionaire Calvin Lo and Panthera Team Asia have announced they are actively looking for ways to join the sport.

Interestingly, in this whole story, the FIA and Formula 1 are not presenting a united front. On the contrary, FIA president Ben Sulayem seems to be actively speaking out against the attitude of the obstructive teams and organisation. Earlier on Twitter, he expressed surprise at the lack of enthusiasm, and at a press conference today at the Dakar Rally, he doubled down on his own stance.

'I see no reason why we cannot welcome new teams'

"In general, if we look at the sustainability of Formula 1, we have to open it up to other brands. We can have a maximum of 12 teams on the grid," assured the FIA president.

"Having a company like General Motors, one of the five biggest manufacturers in the world... we have to encourage them in their interest to reach the top class. That's what I would like the future to look like."

"Then on the other side we have the Andretti team. There is a process, we have to wait and see if they manage to succeed and be on the grid. A new manufacturer will help make Formula 1 better and I see no reason why we shouldn't welcome new teams, especially the Americans. We already have three races there this year," Ben Sulayem continued.

"We welcome any proposal to be one of the 12 teams. We accept good teams, even if they are small, as was the case with Haas. We hope things change and that we can have a real 11th team, we will see what happens."

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