F1 Rejects Andretti Team Application for Ridiculous Reasons

“We do not believe that the Applicant would be a competitive participant,” F1 said in a statement.

After a tumultuous 10-month wait packed with enough drama to write a soap opera, Andretti Global finally has an answer to its Formula 1 aspirations. That answer is no. The Formula 1 World Championship, owned by Liberty Media, announced Wednesday morning that it will not approve Andretti Cadillac’s application to become the 11th team on the grid come 2025.

“Our assessment process has established that the presence of an 11th team would not, on its own, provide value to the Championship,” F1’s press release read. “The most significant way in which a new entrant would bring value is by being competitive. We do not believe that the Applicant would be a competitive participant.

“The need for any new team to take a compulsory power unit supply, potentially over a period of several seasons, would be damaging to the prestige and standing of the Championship,” it added. “While the Andretti name carries some recognition for F1 fans, our research indicates that F1 would bring value to the Andretti brand rather than the other way around.”

F1 highlighted the timeline of Andretti and GM’s rocky adventure, starting with the FIA’s “invitation” extended on March 22, 2023, followed by the FIA’s approval of the team’s bid a few months later on Oct. 2, 2023. As we said before, that’s really when the journey began, as everyone knew it’d be an uphill battle to convince the European powers that be. Despite Andretti agreeing to pay the $200,000,000 fee to the existing teams to make sure they don’t lose any money in their first year, literally every team boss loudly opposed the Americans.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali (left) and FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem. Getty Images Getty

“As we always said, we need to make sure that the decision is right for the business,” said F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, according to Motorsport.com. “And this is what I think is the duty of the FIA and us together, that has to be taken.”

GM Powertrains has already committed to being ready to race for 2028, meaning that Andretti will likely have a fairer shot at joining the grid in four years. Had F1 shown Andretti the green light for 2025, it would’ve likely had to negotiate with Renault for a lackluster powertrain package, which—in all fairness—wouldn’t have performed very well. Then again, name a team that performs well in their first year (excluding Brawn GP).

“We would look differently on an application for the entry of a team into the 2028 Championship with a GM power unit, either as a GM works team or as a GM customer team designing all allowable components in-house,” read the press release. “In this case, there would be additional factors to consider in respect of the value that the Applicant would bring to the Championship, in particular in respect of bringing a prestigious new OEM to the sport as a PU supplier.”

While some of the FIA’s bullet points are understandable, the truth remains that the United States’ current fascination with F1 may not last forever. In fact, Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s dominance has already taken its toll in terms of viewership, and with three domestic races on the calendar there is serious investment on the line should the hype grind to a halt. I can’t see how bringing a new American team into the fold—even one with questionable value—is a bad prospect for F1’s long-term vision.

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