Formula 1 ruffled the feathers of most American motorsport fans earlier this week when it denied Andretti Cadillac's application to join the sport. According to F1, one of the reasons why Andretti was rejected was because he and his team failed to respond to an invitation to meet in person with Formula One Marketing, which they took as Andretti blowing them off. However, according to AP News, Andretti's tech department said the invitation email was never received because it went to the company's spam folder.
Andretti's team went scouring for the invitation email after F1's rejection document was revealed. The team discovered that the email was sent to spam because of who it came from. Rather than being sent from F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, the email was sent from a member of his staff.
“We were not aware that the offer of a meeting had been extended and would not decline a meeting with Formula One Management. An in-person meeting to discuss commercial matters would be and remains of paramount importance to Andretti Cadillac,” said the team in a statement. “We welcome the opportunity to meet with Formula One Management and have written to them confirming our interest.”
Andretti's failure to accept the invitation wasn't the main reason for F1's decision. Instead, the sport claimed that Andretti Cadillac couldn't field a competitive team in 2025 with the current engines and then develop another competitive car in 2026 with the updated engine regulations. So F1 felt an Andretti Cadillac team wouldn't bring as much value to the sport as it claimed. Or so at least that's the public reasoning.
However, Andretti Cadillac claims that 2025 wasn't the team's goal. Instead, the team was eyeing a 2026 entry and was only developing a car based on current regulations because regs for the 2026 season haven't been revealed yet. Andretti Cadillac also claims that a possible 2025 season was only in the initial application because the team has been working on its pitch to F1 since 2022.
“Andretti Cadillac has been operating with 2026 as the year of entry for many months now,” said Andretti Cadillac. “The technicality of 2025 still being part of the application is a result of the length of this process.”
Now that Andretti Cadillac claims that F1's invitation was sent to spam and still wants to meet in person, does F1 reopen the application and meet with the American team? Hopefully, they can return to the negotiating table and work out a deal for a 2026 entry.
Got tips? Send 'em to firstname.lastname@example.org