Home » Lewis Hamilton Going To Ferrari Isn’t Going To Distract Me From The Fact That F1’s Being A Bunch Of Le Coqhole Sportifs

Lewis Hamilton Going To Ferrari Isn’t Going To Distract Me From The Fact That F1’s Being A Bunch Of Le Coqhole Sportifs

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It feels like it was just Tuesday that I was celebrating the ascendancy of Formula 1 in the United States with a bunch of beautiful people in Manhattan. Because it was just Tuesday. And what has F1 done? Decided to insult freakin’ Mario Andretti, General Motors, and thereby all of America. And, yes, the news of the day is that multi-champ Lewis Hamilton is going to rival Ferrari but let’s not get distracted folks. We have been insulted!

To borrow a phrase from Edith Wharton, life makes ugly faces at you sometimes. That’s from Wharton’s book about a bunch of Americans who find themselves dealing with snooty Europeans. The more things change… I suppose. In this case, the ugly faces are those of Formula One which is owned by an American company but is utterly dominated by bitchy European teams run by soap opera jerks.

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All seemed like it was going well. The 10-team championship opened the door to the addition of new teams and a combo of Andretti Motorsports and General Motors came together to say they wanted in, and they wanted in for 2025. This seemed like a great idea. F1 is becoming an increasingly American sport, but pretty lacking in American teams, other than the also-ran Haas which has been a better source of comic relief than actual national pride.

You can read the entire statement over on Motorsport.com if you’re curious, but here’s the bit that has everyone mad as hell:

While the Andretti name carries some recognition for F1 fans, our research indicates that F1 would bring value to the Andretti brand rather than the other way around.

Now you’ve done it. Someone hold me back. The response from American fans has been livid, especially given the mix of cars and teams in the current F1 including such storied names as Stake F1 Kick Sauber, which is literally named for a crappy ersatz Twitch streaming platform. I’m sorry that Andretti and Cadillac don’t have the same beneficial cultural capital and racing lineage as Visa Cash App RB F1, the real name of a real team this year.

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Get fucked. Get so fucked. Get fucked by a KERS flywheel one time for every lap Max Verstappen led last year. You want us to pay untold money to drag our asses out to Las Vegas, but you can’t give us one good team?

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You made Mario Andretti stop talking! Mario Andretti loves talking. You pricks.

Are there some quasi-reasonable points that F1 made about GM not being a powertrain supplier and the cars changing next year, which would make Andretti’s team less competitive? Sort of, but those arguments don’t really hold water when you think of all the shitass programs and shitass teams that have run over the last few years, not to mention in the past.

So why is this happening? We got a preview of this from the FIA and its president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who suggested people (whose names probably rhyme with Bobo Voolf) were unhappy about the prospect of GM getting in there last summer:

F1 operates on a split pot with the teams at the top getting the most money and the teams at the bottom getting the least. With the sport becoming more popular, especially in America, there’s more money to go around but adding a new team would dilute that pot. What’s crazy about this is that Andretti would have had to essentially pay a fee to cover the difference and a lot of this new money is coming from fans in the United States. The whole thing sucks.

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Oh, yeah, in what is super weird timing, both Mercedes and Ferrari announced that Lewis Hamilton, who won six championships with Mercedes, is going to Ferrari next year:

The timing of this is weird because these announcements usually happen in the middle or end of the season, not more than a year ahead of time. Sucks to be Carlos Sainz I guess!

Don’t let the news distract you. Rage, rage against the F1 machine! F1 said that Andretti should focus on joining in 2028 when it can provide a power unit, so I say let’s skip F1 for the next three years and instead enjoy IMSA, IndyCar, WRC, V8 Supercars, and NASCAR. If they don’t want us we don’t want them and there’s plenty of great racing to go around.

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Goblin
Goblin
21 days ago

I paid for an F1 TV subscription last season because it was the only place in the universe that would stream F3 races, and I wanted to cheer for a friend’s kid, who was racing his first season.

I have not, however, watched a single minute of F1, from that nice subscription I had.

I used to be an avid F1 fan in the 90s (yes, Senna DID say “Prost, where are you, we miss you“, I saw that live, for whoever disputes this ever happened), I did watch the paramedics work on Senna (the actual crash happened during an, err, advertisement break on French TV, one minute I was yelling against Senna with my friend, the next minute we watched paramedics working on him – we, errr, felt bad, then the TV comentator said that he had confirmation that Senna’s life is not in danger…).

But anything in the last 20 years – meh.
I’m sorry for the insult to Mr. Andretti’s and his team’s knowledge and professionalism. Maybe it’s time to put some money in an alternative championship that is actually watched.

Last edited 21 days ago by Goblin
10MM Socket
10MM Socket
22 days ago

There are many legitimate reasons to be mad at F1 (civil rights issues, greenwashing, fair & consistent enforcement of rules, ect… ). However denying entry to a new team on grid falls under the Concord Agreement. Maybe its been long enough that few people remember the USF1 team that was accepted to the 2010 grid but couldn’t get its shit together to make it to the first race or any race before being banned from any FIA event. No fan wants a half-assed team effort on the F1 grid and Haas is already toeing that line. Yes, it sucks we may not see Andretti/Cadillac till 2028 but it sure would be great if they make the ’28 grid with a chip on their shoulder to show the other ten teams the mistake they made.

Ben
Ben
22 days ago

My only regret is that I don’t watch F1 anyway so I can’t really give them the finger and quit.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
22 days ago

My company once got a cease and desist letter from the lawyers at F1 because we had a product, remotely connected to the auto industry, not even racing, just car adjacent, and it was called P1. They said our mark was too close to theirs… we ignored them.

Dan Pritts
Dan Pritts
22 days ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

Right up there with monster cable.

Brian Spatz
Brian Spatz
22 days ago

This is the right take and a good article. Snooty fucks should get wrecked and i will always have love Andretti.

Juan Butera
Juan Butera
22 days ago

F1 no longer races cars. They race cloned transportation systems. These systems are highly automated and driven by systems operators who program them in real time. The fastest coders win so long as they have good IT staff in the pits.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
22 days ago
Reply to  Juan Butera

The cars might be programed for aero sake, but they aren’t “highly automated”. They don’t even have traction control and still must start via a manual clutch release.

Jason Snooks
Jason Snooks
22 days ago
Reply to  Juan Butera

Yes, those autonomous cars that aren’t allowed to have traction control or ABS and are driven by humans.

I think you might be a little disinformed.

Strangek
Strangek
22 days ago

It’s all such bullshit. They should have let him join the grid for ’26, run around with a Renault engine for a couple years while continuing to build and refine the organization, then bring it with a Cadillac works engine in ’28 and smoke those snooty Europeans. They’re applying standards here that weren’t applied to anyone else.

Jj
Jj
22 days ago

I heard that the Stake / Kick is a weird sharing deal where the Sauber car will wear the Kick livery half the time and Stake the other half. At least Rich Energy pretended to be a full sponsor.

Querty
Querty
22 days ago

Oooooor Mr Andretti could just buy Mr Haas out and carry on.

Fact is they are trying to join the billion dollar club without spending billion dollar cash…

Jj
Jj
22 days ago
Reply to  Querty

That assumes Haas would sell to Andretti. I don’t know if the two have history, but if they didn’t I feel like Gene would have already sold.

Strangek
Strangek
22 days ago
Reply to  Jj

Haas won’t sell. He should, but he won’t.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
22 days ago

F1 hasn’t been cool in decades. The fact they partnered with A&F makes that even more obvious.

Phuzz
Phuzz
22 days ago

As I said yesterday, if Bernie was still in charge, they’d have got in…because it would be obvious who they had to bribe. Liberty Media are a big faceless corporation, so it’s harder to know who to send a bung to.

(For any libel lawyers reading, this is satire, obviously)

JerryLH3
JerryLH3
22 days ago

F1 can always, and continually, get bent.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
22 days ago

I’m not mad. Scott Dixon, Alex Palou, and Josef Newgarden put on a better show anyway.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
22 days ago

There is a very sound argument that Haas would not be allowed in with the current entrance requirements for F1 but the fact is they got in under the previous regime of the silver haired troll. Liberty bibberty media have changed the game when it comes to entering F1.

Take away the Andretti name (which carries more currency in the US than Europe) and Andretti’s recent track record does not support that they would be anything other than a back marker. They are currently the fourth best team in Indycar and have not won a championship since 2017. They are competitive in Formula E but that may well be because they have the best (Porsche) power units.

To the best of my knowledge they have never entered a series where they have built their own car from scratch, so they will have a mountain to climb in that respect just recruiting staff with the knowledge.

As for the Cadillac part it always sounded like a dipping of a toe in the water rather than getting fully involved in F1, and I really cannot see Mary Barra and the GM resources committing to building an F1 engine when at the same time the business is headed more towards a full BEV future. Also side point on that, Andretti currently races in both Indycar and IMSA with Honda engines where their chief rivals are GM engine cars. With Honda entering F1 again with Aston in 26 surely it looks a bit odd that their long time engine partners in the existing series are not on board with this bid?

Final thought I wonder if F1 would have looked on this differently if this was a Penske or Ganassi bid rather than Andretti. Both of those organizations looked a lot more geared up to make a credible bid to me.

Turtle Racer
Turtle Racer
22 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

All true. But I still would have watched just to see what happens with Andretti. Now, not watching any F1, not the races, not the Netflix series. Does F1 care about a single fan leaving? Nope. Hopefully they’ll care if an entire country leaves.

Jj
Jj
22 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

Is the next power unit spec also for a hybrid drivetrain? Could be relevant to their business – especially since they’re completely free to change direction at any time they think it may boost the stock price at bonus time.

Strangek
Strangek
22 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

Cadillac’s work in GTP I think shows they could handle building the power unit. Those things are fast and super complex. I think aero is much more of a challenge for all teams, especially a new one. Andretti has the resources to overcome that challenge, especially with backing from a major manufacturer.

Jason Snooks
Jason Snooks
22 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

None of what you said is applicable. How many other racing series does Williams participate in? Or Sauber? Success in other series has nothing to do with whether you are qualified to race in F1. In fact, the FIA already gave their blessing that Andretti’s entry met all of the necessary requirements.

To the engine point, you apparently didn’t follow the drama over the summer. Andretti said “I want to join”, and they said “nah. Maybe if you had a major manufacturer backing.” He turned around in a week and said “I brought Cadillac on board, can I join now?” They said “nah, we don’t believe they’re really serious about it. Maybe if they were going to build an engine.” Cadillac came back and said “ok, we’re going to build an engine.” Then the argument became “they’re not going to add any commercial value”.

Read between the lines, and the real reason is money. The teams and F1 want more than the prescribed $200M entry fee, but they can’t ask for it until after the current Concorde Agreement expires in 2026. Hence why they put in that line about “maybe we’ll reconsider in 2028”, when they’ll have upped the entry fee to something more “appropriate” like $1B.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
22 days ago

This is why I don’t follow F1 anymore. It’s just a rich European’s club. They don’t want to include the GM/Andretti team for financial reasons. It’s got nothing to do with their ability to field a real competitor. Hell, if anything, the possibility of real competition makes any of the current teams LESS likely to include another team.

Once upon a time, F1 was the premiere no-holds-barred racing tech series.

That time has passed.

Jj
Jj
22 days ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

Andretti is not necessarily ‘real’ competition in racing formats they already participate in. Not sure how long it would take them to do anything of note in F1. It has to be tough to do all the initial development with the current spending cap.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
22 days ago
Reply to  Jj

Andretti Autosport has over 200 wins in various areas over the last couple decades:

See here

How would you define ‘real competition’ if that seems inadequate?

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