Formula One rejects Andretti’s bid to join series 

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Andretti Autosport’s current headquarters at 7615 Zionsville Road employs 153 people. The company says its global headquarters in Fishers will create 500 more jobs. (IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

Formula One has rejected Indianapolis-based Andretti Global’s application to join the global racing series in 2025 or 2026 but said Wednesday it is willing to revisit the issue in 2028 when General Motors has an engine ready for competition.

General Motors under its Cadillac brand had signed on to partner with Michael Andretti’s push to join to the top racing series in the world — a bid that has received extreme pushback from the majority of the existing 10 teams and F1 leadership.

But the process became more complicated when GM said in November it had registered with Formula One’s governing body to become an engine supplier starting in 2028. That backed F1 into a corner because it would be very difficult to turn away one of the largest automakers in the world, particularly an American company at a time the series has gained massive traction in the United States.

The FIA in July approved Andretti’s application to expand the grid by two cars for his new team, but F1 took six months to do its own review. The FIA had given F1 a Wednesday deadline to make its decision.

“Our assessment process has established that the presence of an 11th team would not, in and of itself, provide value to the Championship,” F1 said in a statement. “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 is only interested in allowing Andretti in when General Motors has an engine built for competition. Had Andretti received approval for a new team, he would have had to use another manufacturer’s engine until 2028.

“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,” F1 said. “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.”

GM already has started development and testing of prototype technology, and it said building an F1 engine will help the automaker advance in areas including electrification, hybrid technology, sustainable fuels, high efficiency internal combustion engines, advanced controls and software systems.

F1 has set new engine regulations for 2026 that place an emphasis on sustainable fuels and greater electric power. Six manufacturers have signed with the FIA to supply engines in 2026, including newcomer Audi, which will partner with Sauber. Ford plans to return to F1 in partnership with three-time reigning champion Red Bull.

Honda also plans to return as an official supplier in 2026.

Andretti was the only applicant of seven to meet all the criteria for the FIA to expand the grid from 10 teams to 11, and with a car already built, had hoped to be competing in 2025. F1 put an end to those hopes Wednesday, though the saga could now be headed to court even as F1 acknowledged it is is willing to revisit the issue.

“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,” F1 said. “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 (original equipment manufacturer) to the sport as a PU (power unit) supplier.

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17 thoughts on “Formula One rejects Andretti’s bid to join series 

  1. The snobs at F1 are making a big mistake. They need more interest from racing fans in the USA, especially in light of the multiple races here. Andretti would bring a wealth of new interest. Too bad it looks like it would be 4 years longer(!)

  2. The reason F1 has become more popular recently, in America, is “driven” entirely by a celebrity-based social media phenomenon and has nothing to do with the racing. The racing, itself, in F1 is the worst!

    1. I’d argue Netflix’s annual documentary of the year created a great deal of interest and the recent races in Miami/Vegas.

      F1 clearly stated it’s their “European elite club” and no you aren’t allowed to join.

  3. It’s so obvious F1 went with this “no, but…” strategy/decision so they can run the clock out on the current Concorde Agreement (ends 2025) which only has a dilution fee of $200M for any new team entering, and then charge Andretti 2-4x that when they jack up the dilution fee in next agreement.

    1. Wow. That’s a bummer and this will hurt the American fans (like F1 actually cares anyways).

  4. F1 only wants American money–not competition from an American team. Hass doesn’t count and they are exactly what F1 used as an excuse stating that Andretti would not be competitive and would not bring value to F1. Hass is a miserable team and will never be competitive. F1 is a political joke. Unfortunately, the majority of the attendees at the American F1 races aren’t racing fans. They are the “beautiful” wealthy people who can afford the $20K seats and are attending to be seen. They have no clue about what is really going on. F F1.

  5. I have never been much of a fan of Formula One, for many of the reasons stated above, and them less inclined to support them now. The debacle at the Speedway where only half the cars ran because of tire issues gives proof to the fact that Formula One does not care about its fans. What they are doing to Andretti is unconscionable.

    Perhaps more importantly, the racing is just not that good, especially when compared to either IndyCar or NASCAR. If I want to go see a nice parade, I will go to New York on Thanksgiving day.

  6. Andretti, Gainbridge, and Cadillac should be thanking their lucky stars. They will save hundreds of millions of dollars while avoiding insolvency and embarrassment. This whole exercise has been ill-conceived from the beginning. Slim chance the US infatuation w/ F1 lasts until 2028. By that time the writing will be on the wall for the Miami race, maybe Vegas too.

    1. Long time follower, first time caller… that’s my fear with F1 and this bad decision. It’s going to mar fan base here.

  7. It seems like there is bad blood between Andretti and F1 perhaps from years ago when Michael tried and failed to gain traction in the series. That said, for them to say “….the Andretti name carrys some recognition for F1 fans”, is a joke and completely patronizing. I venture to say any F1 fan worth their salt knows the Andretti name. The series has alway been a money hungry political club which is a shame because the cars are amazing feats of engineering.

    1. Michael’s got stories that imply the team wasn’t that interested in him as a driver anyway, due to Senna returning to the team late and their test driver being very interesting to them. (Some guy named Hakkinen … think things turned out OK for him…)

    2. The cars are frankenstienish (?), and they make drivers irrelevant. If you have the car you dominate for 3 to 5 years and the the top 3 team rotate.

  8. Michael needs to pour his rage into IndyCar and unseat Ganassi and Penske domination. Focus on REAL racing.
    F1 is glitzy, Driven is pretty fun to watch but races are as boring AF. There is no competition in the series, just a “sporty” reality show.
    Stay Stateside with Andretti Autosport

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