F1 CEO Says the Sport Has No Need for Michael Andretti’s New Team
The Andretti stable is serious about getting into F1, but the series isn’t showing much enthusiasm for the idea.
Michael Andretti officially applied to enter Formula 1 earlier this year for the 2024 season. But when questioned about the status of Andretti's potential entry into the sport, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said he doesn't believe the series needs any new teams.
Domenicali stated that he doesn't think new teams will necessarily add anything to the sport. "I think today in the actual status of F1, it's not a problem of quantity, where we can see a step of increasing the value of F1,” he told Motorsport.com. “As I always said I don't believe that it is today the problem of having more teams that will give more value to the championship."
The F1 CEO indicated that the proposed Andretti team isn't the only one trying to gain entry into F1. There have been others, however, Domenicali made a point of specifically calling out Andretti's "vocal" desire to join and contrasted it to others who have approached the sport in a quieter manner.
Whatever does wind up happening, Domenicali thinks that all the outside interest benefits the existing teams. "We have the same situation of the Grands Prix—more people who want to enter, by far, than people that want to leave," he said. That strong level of interest means that there's no need to expand the entry list beyond 10 teams to protect the grid against teams leaving the sport, according to him.
The son of Mario Andretti, 1978 F1 World Champion, Michael Andretti also owns the Andretti Autosport IndyCar team. The F1 entry was made under the name of Andretti Global, and it's unclear whether this would be a totally independent organization or related to the IndyCar team. Forming a new entry wasn't the original plan, but an attempt to buy Sauber sadly didn't work out. The new entry faces an uphill battle, too, with big F1 names like Toto Wolff not exactly rolling out the welcome mat for the Americans. Domenicali's comments are just the latest blow.
The final decision on adding any new teams ultimately comes down to the FIA via existing protocols. The desire is that any new team entering F1 will bring value to the sport and stick around for the long term. Manufacturers, with deep pockets that suggest stability beyond that of smaller independent teams, are sniffing around ahead of the new regulations in 2026. However, manufacturers can be flakey, too, as Honda's backflipping has shown over the last few years.
At various times in the past, F1 has been more than happy to welcome new teams into the fold. Right now, the sport and its CEO are presenting a cooler, "take it or leave it" attitude. Whether that will deter eager upstarts from joining the fray remains to be seen.
Got a tip? Let the author know: firstname.lastname@example.org