Why Formula 1 Said No to Michael Andretti's Bid to Join F1 Grid

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Why Formula 1 Said No to Michael AndrettiKym Illman - Getty Images

Formula 1 provided a three-page report detailing why it does not believe Andretti’s entry would add value to the championship.

The consideration of the current 10 teams was not a factor in its report.

It outlined that “our assessment process has established that the presence of an 11th team would not, in and of itself, provide value to the championship.”

Formula 1 says that Andretti’s application “contemplates an association with General Motors (GM) that does not initially include a PU supply, with an ambition for a full partnership with GM as a PU supplier in due course, but this will not be the case for some years. Having a GM PU supply attached to the Application at the outset would have enhanced its credibility, though a novice constructor in partnership with a new entrant PU supplier would also have a significant challenge to overcome.”


Formula 1 also notes that “most of the attempts to establish a new constructor in the last several decades have not been successful.”

In explaining its decision to turn down Andretti for 2025 it outlines that “a novice entrant” would have to “build two completely different cars in its first two years of existence” and that “the fact that the applicant proposes to do so gives us reason to question their understanding of the scope of the challenge involved.”

Formula 1 concedes that “a 2026 entry would not face this specific issue” but outlines that “as the pinnacle of world motorsport, [Formula 1] represents a unique technical challenge to constructors of a nature that the applicant has not faced in any other formula or discipline in which it has previously competed, and it proposes to do so with a dependency on a compulsory PU supply in the initial years of its participation.

“On this basis, we do not believe that the Applicant would be a competitive participant.

“Coming to the sport as a new PU manufacturer is also a huge challenge, with which major automotive manufacturers have struggled in the past, and one which can take a manufacturer a number of years of significant investment in order to become competitive. GM have the resource and credibility to be more than capable of attempting this challenge, but success is not assured.”

In moving onto its conclusions Formula 1 decreed that “we do not believe that the applicant would be a competitive participant” and that Andretti’s need to be a customer team for “a period of several seasons would be damaging to the prestige and standing of the championship.”

Formula 1 explained that “while the Andretti name carries some recognition for F1 fans, our research indicates that F1 would bring value to the Andretti brand rather than the other way around.

“The addition of an 11th team would place an operational burden on race promoters, would subject some of them to significant costs, and would reduce the technical, operational and commercial spaces of the other competitors.”

This is in contrast to the FIA’s regulations which dictate that all grand prix venues must have capacity for 12 entrants.

Formula 1 added that “we were not able to identify any material expected positive effect on CRH [commercial rights holder] financial results, as a key indicator of the pure commercial value of the championship.

“On the basis of the application as it stands, we do not believe that the Applicant has shown that it would add value to the championship. We conclude that the Applicant’s application to participate in the Championship should not be successful.”

However, Formula 1 concluded by dictating that “would look differently on an application for the entry of a team into the 2028 championship with a GM power unit, either as a GM works team or as a GM customer team designing all allowable components in-house. In this case there would be additional factors to consider in respect of the value that the Applicant would bring to the championship, in particular in respect of bringing a prestigious new OEM to the sport as a PU supplier.”