F1 rejects Andretti’s bid to join by 2026 but leaves door open for 2028

F1 rejects Andretti’s bid to join by 2026 but leaves door open for 2028

  • It’s Andrew Benson
  • The main F1 writer

Image source, Getty Images

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Michael Andretti currently owns teams that compete in IndyCar, Formula E and Extreme E

Formula 1 has rejected American team Andretti’s entry into the sport for the next two years – but left the door open for it to be accepted from 2028.

F1 conducted a survey of stakeholders and decided that the 11th team would not “add value”.

F1 also “does not believe that the applicant can be a competitor”.

That may change when partner General Motors develops its own engine.

GM – which is supporting Andretti through its luxury brand Cadillac – has said it plans to produce its own F1 engine in 2028.

F1 said it would “seem different from the request for a team to enter the 2028 race with GM power, either as a GM team or as a GM customer team that makes all the official equipment in-house.

“There will be additional factors to be considered in terms of the value that the applicant can bring to the competition, especially in terms of bringing in a new popular OEM. [car manufacturer] to games like PU [engine] assistant.”

F1 said before this, “the need for any new team to adopt electrics by force, possibly for several years, would damage the popularity and standing of the competition”.

And it settled the argument that the Andretti name – associated with 1978 F1 champion Mario Andretti and his son Michael, an Indycar legend and former F1 driver – was a forced addition.

“Although the Andretti name is familiar to F1 fans, our research shows that F1 would bring value to the Andretti brand rather than the other way around,” he said.

Michael Andretti is one of the best Indycar drivers of all time who also raced in F1 most of the 1993 season for McLaren. His team competes in Indycar, endurance racing, touring cars, as well as Formula E and Extreme E racing.

Andretti’s father Mario is a motorsport legend who raced in F1 from 1968 to 1982, winning 12 grands prix including his world title. He also excelled in Indycar and endurance racing, with the title of the team.

Other factors considered in the decision were “the burden of work on ethnic activists, [which] it will bring more money”.

And F1 said it “could not recognize any expected financial impact of CRH, as an indication of the commercial value of the competition”.

The decision was reached following research and analysis about broadcasters, sponsors and arenas – the main sources of income for sports.

An important acquisition of F1 focuses on the supply of engines. It was decided that using an engine from an existing manufacturer for a short period of time while having close links with a company that would soon become a competitor was a serious threat to the team’s ability to compete.

It is a different situation than that offered to a customer engine – such as that of Mercedes and McLaren – because of the risks that may occur in terms of intellectual property and the restrictions that F1 considers to put on the contract.

The existing F1 teams have said that they do not agree with Andretti to enter in 2025 or 2026, because it would reduce the income from prizes.

Current rules say new entrants must pay an anti-dilution fee of $200m (£158m) to fund existing teams but they feel this is insufficient given the size of F1 teams, which are in the region of $1bn.

However, the F1 statement did not mention any discussions with the teams involved in Andretti’s analysis, or identify their role.

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