Michael Andretti spoke exclusively to Sky Sports F1 after his team’s bid to enter Formula 1 was approved in early October by the FIA; watch Qualifying tonight at 10pm for Sunday’s Grand Prix on Sky Sports F1, and the build-up from 9pm, before Saturday’s Sprint in Austin.
21:48, UK, Friday 20 October 2023
Michael Andretti says opposition to his team’s bid to enter Formula 1 is “confidential” and that he has “the right to be public” after sealing the FIA’s approval.
At the beginning of October, Andretti was approved to be the 11th new team by the governing body of the sport, but now they must agree with FOM, the governing body of commercial rights of F1, which is very concerned with the 10 teams that have it.
Many team officials have repeatedly criticized Andretti’s entry, with existing teams pointing out that the American team does not bring enough value to the sport to justify the amount of money they can extract from the current division.
“Thanks to the FIA and the FIA president for showing interest,” Andretti said. Sky Sports F1 at the United States Grand Prix in Austin on Friday.
“It was very intense, it was very difficult for our team and I am proud to say that we won in all categories, and we are very proud of that.
“It shows that we have the right to be here in this group, and we are happy about it.
“We think we have something to offer Formula 1 fans.”
‘We believe we bring more than we take’
F1’s limit of 12 teams up to and including the 2025 season, according to the current Concorde Agreement, a document that unifies the rules and governance of the sport, has led the FIA to want to add another team.
Former American racing driver Andretti, who won the US CART championship and had a stint in F1 with McLaren in the 1990s, leads his team, which competes in other sports, in partnership with General Motors brand Cadillac.
When asked about the fierce opposition shown by the current teams, Andretti added: “I don’t know. It’s a mystery to me in some ways, why they’re pushing back.
“They say we’re cutting the pie, but I think the bottom line is, we believe we’re bringing in more than we’re taking away, and we really believe that.
“If you look at fan support in all the research that’s been done, we think we’re going to add to it, not take away from it.”
The wind season is planned for 2025
Andretti said the team is continuing to work hard to enter 2025 in F1, and their plans include building a definitive car for 2023, which they will test in the wind next week.
“Right now we’re still shooting for 2025,” Andretti said.
“Our car will be in the wind next week, so we have a car already built in 2023.
“We are useless, we are building a team. Right now it is 2025, it could be 2026, but we will see.”
The famous father of Andretti Mario, who is the world champion of 1978 F1, is also working with the project and he said that the sport is the “Olympics of motorsport” driving the passion of the family.
“Auto racing has been our life,” he said.
“I’m very proud of Michael for his desire, to be in all the big teams. That’s how we live. I’ve been feeding my family through motor racing since day one, and that’s how we go.
“This is our life, so we want to be at the top. Formula 1 is the Olympics of motorsport, so that’s where we want to be.”
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