Horner ‘surprised’ by Andretti DOJ push

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he is “surprised” that Andretti Cadillac has taken its effort to join Formula 1 to the U.S. Department of Justice, but says he’d “absolutely” welcome the team onto the grid via a purchase of an existing constructor.

The DOJ has been asked to investigate Formula 1’s decision not to allow Andretti Cadillac onto the grid in 2025 or 2026, with a number of U.S. Senators questioning whether it “could violate U.S. antitrust laws.” F1 has stated it would be more open to allowing the project to join the grid in 2028 if General Motors delivers its own power unit, and Horner says the desire to continue growing the sport in the United States is clear.

“We’re [F1] U.S.-owned; we have five Fortune 500 companies on our car; I think that this isn’t about anything to do with Andretti being American or anything like that,” Horner said. “I think it’s purely down to the business model that is Formula 1.


“I remember not so long ago that there would always be two teams at the tail end of the grid needing to be bailed out or being technically insolvent. We finally got into a position where there’s great strength and health in Formula 1 and Liberty have to be congratulated for that, because they’ve created a model where even the worst team in Formula 1 probably has a billion-dollar valuation — Liberty have created that model.

“I think the approach that they brought by opening the sport up as well and bringing a new fandom and new fans into the sport, they have to be commended on and I was surprised to see that Andretti have gone down this process. Hopefully, if they really want to find a way onto the grid they will find it. But I think the most natural solution is for them to acquire an existing franchise, should one want to sell.”

Michael Andretti has been putting together a team with the hope of being granted a place as an 11th entrant as part of an expanded grid, but many rival team bosses have called for the project to focus on taking over an existing team.

Asked if he’d welcome Andretti and Cadillac onto the grid, Horner replied: “Yeah, absolutely.

“I think Andretti has great racing heritage. Mario is a legend of the sport. And of course, Cadillac, a huge automotive manufacturer from the U.S. I think Formula 1 have said in 2028, if they were to come with their own engine, they would obviously, I think, review it.

“But in addition to that, I think that if Andretti were to want to come — a little like Audi acquired Sauber, I think, to protect the current franchise and stability that we have in the sport — then obviously their best route to that goal is to acquire one of the existing teams.”

Horner’s viewpoint was backed up by Alessandro Alunni Bravi — who will see his Stake team become Audi in 2026 — and Alpine team principal Bruno Famin.

“I think that Audi shows the right path to come to Formula 1,” Alunni Bravi said. “Of course, Cadillac is a big player and it qualifies this project as a potentially good project. But there is a way that is to buy into an existing team. And I think that the process put in place by Formula 1 is a clear one; very robust project. So I think that they know what could be the way.”

“I think we’re all on the same line,” Famin added. “Big name –Andretti, Cadillac — but we have to be very careful not to dilute and to preserve the value of the championship and for the teams as well. And there are two ways — they buy a team or they bring enough value to the championship to compensate. But I think it’s the same story from the very beginning.”

Story originally appeared on Racer