The Andretti name is one step closer to the F1 grid

Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 michael andretti 2016
June 12, 2016: Team owner Michael Andretti stands on the grid prior to the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Matt Hazlett/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedways

The biggest news to come out of the Formula 1 world all season just hit like that second cup of coffee on a Monday morning. The FIA, the governing body for Formula 1, just approved the application submitted by Andretti Formula Racing LLC to become the series’ 11th team.

The vaunted Andretti name is one step closer to the F1 grid. According to the FIA, the team will now “progress to the next stage,” which includes commercial discussions with Formula One Management (FOM).

The deal may not be done, but this news is big. The Andretti team, which is captained by retired racer and motorsport magnate Michael Andretti, was the only candidate to gain approval by the FIA in 2023, out of the four teams that made it to the formal application process. It is not as easy as just submitting a sheaf of paperwork: Teams have to prove they have the cash—the entry fee alone is $200 million—to join the F1 grid as well as share how they plan to have a positive societal impact by “manag[ing] the sustainability challenge.” Along with the rest of the F1 grid, any hopeful must prove that it “plans to achieve a net-zero Co2 impact by 2030.”

F1 2023 Italian Grand Prix monza
Race start during the Pirelli Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix of FIA Formula One World Championship, 2023. NurPhoto via Getty Images

Back in January, we sat down with Michael Andretti. The second-gen racer—whose father, Mario, won an F1 world championship in 1978—pointed to 2025 as the target year. While his team’s driver roster has yet to be announced, Colton Herta’s name was mentioned, and it was made public that Cadillac and General Motors were partnering with Andretti Formula Racing LLC to gain grid access. In what capacity the two companies will participate in Andretti’s F1 bid is yet to be determined.

FOM holds the next hoop. F1 popularity is sky-high right now and, one guesses, is making money hand over fist. The teams on the grid all share in the revenue (advertising, TV contracts, etc.), and an extra team means a smaller percentage for the initial ten. Anyone joining must bring enough value to grow the pot to feed 11. The Andretti name? In our minds, the value of that name doesn’t get much more obvious.




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    I’m surprised that Haas (USA F-1 team ) is still an active F-1 team. They never finish in the points but their still in the hunt. Bottomless pocket ?

    Here is my hope. They get it right. Others like Ford and Stewart have failed.

    The fact Michael failed at McLaren may be a blessing as he learned the hard way you need to conform to F1.

    GM has tried in the past with Cadillac at Lemans and failed. GM did learn to use Pratt and Miller to learn how to win at Lemans.

    My hope is Andretti finds the correct support team wise to operate as they should and conform to the system. They also I hope will get the needed support from GM and get it right from the start.

    F1 takes a ton of money but even money alone is not enough. They will need to make sure they have support and shops in the right places. They are hiring the correct people with the tech they need and that they are always working ahead of the curve.

    Engineering on a team like this is 24/7 global.

    F1 is more than a race is is about the tech and strategy. It is about thinking outside the box at what is next.

    Teams like Haas have never taken the next step to do their own engines and cars. As long as you buy the year old cars or lesser cars you will always be a follower. This is not like the old days where everyone ran a Cosworth and Ferrari a V12.

    The top teams have the deepest pockets and GM better not blink at the cost or they will just be another follower.

    Racing is easy in the states and economical. They keep it simple and to the point. F1 is everything but simple and cheap.

    I know Mario gets it but will everyone else get it?

    I’m trying hard not to let my personal dislike of Michael taint my feelings about this (especially since I adore Mario). In considering what I think about the chances for success, I’d say hyperV6 has it about right. Especially the point about GM’s pocket depth. Is this really the right time for them to be investing that kind of cash in an admittedly risky project with an arguably risky manager? (Opps, there goes a signal of how I feel about Michael again!)
    FIA are no fools, really, and the fact that they accepted the application is a huge signal that Andretti has got their ducks in a row, but considering all the factors that hyperV6 points out, I’m thinking that this probably isn’t going to turn out well.

    Cadillac and GM have shown nothing to the F1 racing world. They will need bottomless pockets and a 10 year calendar, at least. I worked for GM for 20 years and these guys can’t stick it out. 1st time things get rough or expensive they will turn tale and run. They are thinking F1 is a quick and cheap advertising gimmick, but they are wrong. HAAS has probably a 1000th of GM’s financial power and they are getting no where.

    I’m pretty sure Michael knows what he’s getting into. I hope he’s conveyed that to GM, and whoever else heks going to be partnering with. I hope it goes well, but sadly, most of the interesting racing in the past decade hasn’t been in the front of the field. Yeah, a few good races for the win, but not often.

    Andretti has been racing for third or fourth in IndyCar for quite a while. I can’t help but think F1 will be the same.

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