The Formula 1 governing body, the FIA, has officially approved Michael Andretti's bid to launch an F1 team. This puts the American racing dynasty one step closer to the grid come 2025 or 2026, when the Indianapolis-based outfit plans to compete in the world championship under the Andretti Cadillac F1 moniker.
This is a major win for the American team but it's not an outright victory. The application process continues onto its second phase, which now involves the money folks, meaning F1 teams and Liberty Media. While the existing teams don't get to vote new teams in or out, there are talks that must take place between them and the rights holder in regard to finances.
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem released a statement praising Andretti for receiving this approval. Other teams who applied were rejected as late as last week, leaving Andretti as the final runner.
“Andretti Formula Racing LLC was the only entity which fulfils the selection criteria that was set in all material respects,” said Ben Sulayem. “I congratulate Michael Andretti and his team on a thorough submission. I also want to thank all prospective teams for their interest and participation.
"The Expressions of Interest process builds on the positive acceptance of the FIA’s 2026 F1 Power Unit Regulations among existing OEMs which has also attracted further commitment from Audi, Honda and Ford and interest from Porsche and General Motors. I would like to thank all of the FIA team members involved in the Expressions of Interest process for their tireless efforts in ensuring a diligent assessment of all of the applications received," he added.
Liberty Media hasn't been kind to Andretti's bid, oftentimes coming off as a bully against the newcomers. F1 CEO Stefano Demenicali has gone as far as saying that the sport "has no need" for the new entry, and even called out Michael Andretti for referring to current F1 teams as "very greedy." Mercedes and Ferrari team principals Toto Wolff and Frederic Vasseur have previously spoken against adding a new team on the grid, even earning a reaction from former F1 champion Mario Andretti.
There's no timeline set in place for when the next decision will be announced, with Liberty Media simply releasing the statement below.
“We note the FIA’s conclusions in relation to the first and second phases of their process and will now conduct our own assessment of the merits of the remaining application,” F1 said in a statement.
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