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.
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.
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?
Acceptable new F1 entrants:
CNC Machine company
Honda shoving an engine in a 3 year old Arrows for Takuma Sato
Totally legit supercar maker Marussia
Guy named Walter Wolf
A scam computer that predicts the stock market
Unacceptable new F1 entrants:
Andretti and General Motors
— Travis Okulski (@tokulski) January 31, 2024
Drive to Survive became the gateway drug into motorsports via F1. Blocking Andretti and Cadillac from competing in the sport was the sobering moment for many. Congrats to IndyCar and IMSA for keeping the racing strong… the fans are seeing it.
— JF Musial (@jfmusial) February 1, 2024
It wasn’t too long ago that there were sub standard entities like Caterham and Manor-Marussia running around at the back of the grid but F1 feels rejecting global, iconic brands such as Andretti & GM is a prudent move … hmmm ???? https://t.co/RctdqGm916
— Leigh Diffey (@leighdiffey) January 31, 2024
I'm devastated. I won't say anything else because I can't find any other words besides devastated. pic.twitter.com/UaFBC5n9qF
— Mario Andretti (@MarioAndretti) January 31, 2024
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:
— Mohammed Ben Sulayem (@Ben_Sulayem) January 8, 2023
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.
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:
Scuderia Ferrari is pleased to announce that Lewis Hamilton will be joining the team in 2025, on a multi-year contract. pic.twitter.com/moEMqUgzXH
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) February 1, 2024
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.