Michael Andretti’s desire to buy a Formula One team should not be “turned away,” according to Mike Hull, general director of Chip Ganassi Racing.
Ganassi and Andretti Autosport, along with Penske Racing, have won the last 19 IndyCar championships. Their rivalry dates back to 1993, when Forsythe Green Racing made their CART debut. After a decade, it became Andretti Green Racing in IndyCar.
Michael Andretti went to the Miami Grand Prix earlier this month to drum up support for his team, which will run Renault engines. However, his team must overcome considerable obstacles, some of which are pecuniary in nature.
“I don’t know really what it’s all about – we’re not in that smoke-filled room to grasp what was actually said,” Hull, who has worked for Ganassi since 1992, said when asked about the financial aspects of the Andretti proposal.
But, given his pedigree, he believes Andretti, who has raced in Formula One and started 13 races for McLaren in 1993, should be given an admission.
“It’s ambitious, I certainly wish them all the best,” Hull told The Race. “The ownership, 20 cars on the grid, you have 10 billionaires that are doing it. And they are all doing it at different levels.”
“And they all have good aptitude and they obviously have a good balance sheet to be able to do it.”
“Michael is a pure racer. He understands what racing is all about. He came from being a driver, his dad when I was growing up was probably one of the best drivers I ever saw on a race track.”
“So he has an enormous aptitude for what it takes,” he added. “I don’t know if that frightens Formula 1 but I think he should be for that reason, because he’s a racing person. And he will understand and learn how to race cars there.”
“That’s what any series deserves and should have. They should never turn somebody away that has that aptitude.
“If they do, shame on them.”
Last year, Andretti came close to obtaining a majority position in Sauber, but the transaction fell through at the last minute due to “control concerns,” as he put it.
If Andretti’s quest to build a new Formula One team succeeds, the team is anticipated to field 22-year-old Colton Herta, who was supposed to be in the lineup if the Sauber deal had gone through.