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Written by Hugh Waring, Edited by Morgan Holiday
Former racing driver Mario Andretti has revealed that his son, Michael Andretti has applied for entry into the 2024 season as a new start-up team.
The Formula 1 Champion of 1978 and 4x IndyCar Champion shared the news on Twitter last Friday. He wrote:
"Michael has applied to the FIA to field a new F1 team starting in 2024. His entry, Andretti Global, has the resources and checks every box. He is awaiting the FIA's determination."
Michael Andretti was in conversation to buy out Alfa Romeo and Sauber towards the back end of 2021, but he was left frustrated when talks collapsed.
The Andretti group has had an interest in entering Formula 1 for a long time, but due to the barriers to entry that Formula 1 had previously enforced, it didn’t seem possible. With these issues significantly changing, teams may be able to compete with them under a more cost-effective method. In addition, the Formula 1 championship has been rapidly growing in the US in recent years.
Arguably, the Andretti team will be able to capitalise on this interested audience in the US. Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” has reached a wider audience in the USA, which led to a sell-out crowd as Formula 1 returned to Austin’s Circuit of the Americas in 2021 - which has also been giving a five year contract. The upcoming Miami GP, as well as a rumoured third race in Las Vegas, both point in the direction of Formula 1’s long-term interest in America.
Andretti will follow other Forumla 1 teams that have recently attracted US investors. McLaren and Williams have American tech giants, whilst Aston Martin and Red Bull have partnered with Cognizant and Oracle.
Although Mario stated that there has not been a formal entry, he indicated that the team has applied to the FIA. We will be eagerly looking forward to any further news about these developments.
Mario Andretti has stated that they are ready to pay the $200 million entry fee, as well as having an intent to field a team in both F2 and F3 categories - all with the aim to help promote American talents into Formula 1.
Formula 1 and the FIA have all learnt the struggles new entries face when entering the sport. A well-regarded team such as Andretti is important to Formula 1’s outreach to the American market, and they must learn from the failures that HRT, Lotus, Caterham and Marussia all suffered from.
Andretti could be the first team to join Formula 1 since fellow US team, Haas F1, who entered back in 2016.
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