Michael Andretti, Andretti Formula Racing Cadillac Get FIA Approval for F1 Team

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BREAKING: FIA Approves Michael Andretti F1 BidBradley Collyer - PA Images - Getty Images
  • Monday, after months of speculation, the FIA confirmed that the application lodged by Andretti Formula Racing had been approved.

  • Andretti was the only one of four applicants‚ believed to be Hitech Grand Prix, Rodin, and LKY SUNZ—to receive approval from the governing body.

Andretti Formula Racing’s bid to join the Formula 1 grid is now down to its commercial discussions with Formula One Management—representatives of the 10 existing F1 teams— after governing body the FIA approved its application.

The FIA launched a call for expressions of interest at the start of 2023 and Andretti went public with its bid, which has support from General Motors through its Cadillac arm, to join Formula 1 in either 2025 or 2026.


Monday, after months of speculation, the FIA confirmed that the application lodged by Andretti Formula Racing had been approved.

Andretti was the only one of four applicants‚ believed to be Hitech Grand Prix, Rodin, and LKY SUNZ—to receive approval from the governing body on what it called Phase 2, with Phase 1 being the initial call for interest.

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Former IndyCar and F1 racer Michael Andretti is one step away from being able to tackle the Formula 1 series as an owner.Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

Phase 2 included due diligence on the sporting and technical capabilities and the resources of the applicant, along with the ability of the applicant to raise and maintain sufficient funding, as well as the team’s experience and human resources.

“The FIA was very clear in establishing stringent criteria for entry from the outset of the Expressions of Interest procedure,” said FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem. “Our objective, after rigorous due diligence during the application phase, was to only approve prospective entries which satisfied the set criteria and illustrated that they would add value to the sport.

“The FIA is obliged to approve applications that comply with the Expressions of Interest application requirements and we have adhered to that procedure in deciding that Andretti Formula Racing LLC’s application would proceed to the next stage of the application process. In taking that decision, the FIA is acting in accordance with EU directives on motor sport participation and development.

“Andretti Formula Racing LLC was the only entity which fulfills the selection criteria that was set in all material respects. I congratulate Michael Andretti and his team on a thorough submission. I also want to thank all prospective teams for their interest and participation.”

Andretti’s approval by the FIA was widely expected—with Andretti’s long-standing interest and eventual capture of GM as an ally regarded as a key motivation for launching an application in the first place—but the team must now go through what the governing body calls Phase 3 of the process.

This involves commercial discussions with Formula 1, and which remains a big hurdle to clear.

Formula 1’s CEO Stefano Domenicali and Liberty Media chairman Greg Maffei have both been lukewarm to the idea of expanding the grid and are under no obligation to do so, stressing that any new applicant must prove what it can bring to the table. The existing 10 teams have also been hesitant over their fears that their share of Formula 1’s revenues will be impacted.

Under the Concorde Agreement, which binds together Formula 1, the FIA and the 10 teams, there is capacity for the grid to expand to 12 teams, and any new entrant must pay a $200 million anti-dilution fee. This would be split between the existing teams as a form of compensation for future prize money being divided 11 ways rather than 10. But teams have suggested that a figure of $200 million is too low because of the rise in Formula 1’s popularity in recent years and have been pushing to increase the figure for the next Concorde Agreement, which are in the early stages of discussion ahead of its implementation in 2026.

“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,” read a brief statement from Formula 1.

Formula 1 has not had a new team since 2016, when Haas joined the grid, a year before Liberty Media took over the championship.

One Box Left to Check

Andretti's Path Through the Formula 1 Application

• In February 2023, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile announced the official launch of an application process to identify prospective teams seeking to participate at a competitive level in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

• All applicants underwent thorough due diligence. The assessment of each application covered in particular the sporting and technical capabilities and resources of the applicant team, the ability of the team to raise and maintain sufficient funding to allow participation in the Championship at a competitive level and the team’s relevant experience and human resources.

• Applications were also judged on their ability to meet sustainability criteria and deliver positive societal impact in line with the FIA’s approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

• The overall long-term interests of the Championship, involving all stakeholders, determined which candidates were selected together with the applicable regulations and governance arrangements.

• The terms of the formal application process (together with the complete selection criteria, applicable deadlines, legal requirements and other conditions) were communicated to candidates that submitted a preliminary Expression of Interest to the FIA.

Those Boxes

Phase 1: Call for Expressions of Interest CHECK

Phase 2: Application, evaluation and approval process CHECK

Phase 3: Successful applicant referred to FOM for commercial discussions