How the Path for Next American Driver in F1 Is Likely through Michael Andretti

·2 min read
Photo credit: Greg Doherty - Getty Images
Photo credit: Greg Doherty - Getty Images

The only way to open the door for American drivers in Formula 1 is for a truly American team like Andretti to get the green light.

A big share of the existing 10 teams are arguing against Michael Andretti's bid to bring an 11th Formula 1 team to the grid being green-lighted by Liberty Media and the FIA on the grounds that it will dilute their commercial income.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner jokingly thinks a better outcome for F1 would simply be the presence of a successful American driver like Michael's father, 1978 world champion Mario.

Photo credit: Greg Doherty - Getty Images
Photo credit: Greg Doherty - Getty Images

"I think it's great that there's interest from both OEMs and a brand and a team like Andretti—it's a great name," Horner said. "It would be better if Mario came back to drive," he smiled, "but I think it's something for Liberty and their business model to work out."

According to former McLaren driver Michael, however, the only way to get a successful American driver like Colton Herta or even a return by Alexander Rossi (pictured above) into F1 is by opening the door to an American team.

"We want to be an American team that develops American drivers for the future," Michael Andretti told European outlet "There is no team that does not that now, but it's what we want. There really isn't currently a legitimate way for an American driver to get into Formula 1. There just isn't. We want to clear the way for them."

Colton Herta, the son of former IndyCar star Bryan Herta, is actually set to make his F1 test debut for McLaren. According to Andretti, he is the "perfect example" of an American driver who should already be on the F1 grid.

"He has the talent, but they ran out of money so they came back to the States and he opted for an American series," Andretti said. "I want us to take the youth out of karting and show them the way, and hopefully if they are good enough they will end up in Formula 1.

"We will have the team to make it happen and ensure they have a legitimate chance."