Andretti Has Officially Applied to Enter Formula 1 in 2024
Mario took to social media to spread the word, with confirmation from Andretti Autosport following shortly thereafter.
When Haas joined Formula 1 in 2016, its arrival marked the first time in 30 years that an American team had competed at the highest level of open-wheel racing. Nobody knew at the time, but it marked the beginning of F1's surge in popularity in the United States, driven largely by Netflix's Formula 1:
Drive to Survive, which helped build a record-setting American fanbase that has enticed F1 to add a second U.S. race to its calendar. Soon, F1's roots in American soil could deepen further, as 1978 F1 champion Mario Andretti has confirmed via social media that his racing dynasty has applied to enter its own F1 team.
Andretti stated on Twitter that his son Michael—CART champion, owner of Andretti Autosport, and former F1 driver—has applied to enter F1 in 2024 under the banner of Andretti Global. The team is apparently awaiting FIA approval having met the FIA's strict entry criteria, which The Race reports consists in part of ponying up $200 million up front to compensate preexisting teams. It's currently unclear whether Andretti's F1 entry is an offshoot of IndyCar outfit Andretti Autosport or a separate operation entirely.
A spokesperson for Andretti Autosport confirmed to The Drive that Mario Andretti's tweet was real but refused to provide further comment. "As Michael has commented, Mario’s tweet is real. However, we can offer no further comment or information."
If approved, and if Haas sticks around, the 2024 season will mark the first time the grid will have consisted of 11 teams since 2016, the final year for Manor F1. It'd also be the first season with two American entries since 1977, when Interscope faced off against Chesterfield, though they were only customer teams using bought-in cars. One doesn't have to look much further back to determine the last time two American constructors competed in F1—that was 1975, when Penske, Shadow, and Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing all entered their own cars.
Ironically, all this happened early in Mario Andretti's F1 career, which reached its pinnacle in 1978 when he won the drivers' championship. And with F1's implementation of a budget cap and new aero regulations to decrease the disparity between teams, that may yet mark only the first time an Andretti wins an F1 title.
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