Andretti Says ‘We’ve Tried’ Buying an Existing F1 Team but No One’s Interested
With existing teams uninterested, Andretti is at the mercy of the FIA’s approval process for new entries.
Formula 1 is inching its way toward a new era, with new automakers signing up and new regulations on the horizon. Michael Andretti has made it more than clear that he wants to be on the grid when it all goes down. Thus far, though, the series has been reluctant to accept a new American team, and it seems none of the existing teams want to sell up, either.
As reported by Racer, Andretti is making little headway in his efforts to enter F1, with plenty of pushback from existing competitors. Notably, Mercedes supremo Toto Wolff was quoted at the British Grand Prix as saying that prospective new entrants should "buy a team" to get on the grid. Not one to miss a trick, Andretti has publicly stated that the idea is a non-starter, as none of the existing teams are willing to sell.
“We’ve tried—nobody’s interested, nobody’s selling,” Andretti told assembled media at the Extreme E Island X-Prix in Sardinia last week. Having spoken to every team on the grid, he notes there is simply no workable option available. "You go there and they're not even interested in talking," said Andretti, adding "I've been there, done that—not happening."
Andretti is a man of great stature and experience when it comes to motorsport. He also has strong links to GM, which is reportedly eager to back a future entry under the Cadillac name. Regardless, F1 has thus far turned up its nose at the idea of Andretti forming a new team.
Perhaps the most compelling theory is that the billionaire boys club behind the sport simply doesn't want to see an American taking home the silverware. In every other way, Andretti is a perfect candidate. He has a strong engine partner, and the capability to execute in spades. He's also got the cash backing to cover the $200 million "anti-dilution fee," required to placate existing teams for the added competition.
Andretti has previously made efforts to buy existing teams. A deal with Sauber fell through in 2021, with the team later choosing to team up with Audi for 2026. For his part, Andretti doesn't resent existing teams for wanting to keep new rivals out. "I don’t blame the teams," said Andretti, adding "They all are going to look at it for themselves, because that’s what they need to do to be competitive."
It bears noting that the FIA openly announced an application process for two new teams earlier this year, with a decision to be made by June 30. As of yet, no decision on the matter has been publicly revealed. The Drive has contacted the FIA for comment and will update this article accordingly. "We're hoping for a positive decision," said Andretti, noting that he expects a decision to come through closer to the end of the month.
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