Why Time Is Becoming a Factor in Andretti F1 Bid

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Why Time Is Becoming a Factor in Andretti F1 BidSUZANNE CORDEIRO - Getty Images
  • The Andretti Formula 1 bid is facing major opposition from existing teams who fear a dilution of their value and official income.

  • Mario Andretti confirms that his son's bid has had the support of FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem "from the very first moment."

  • Mario added that "every day counts" as the team works to put together a team.

Formula 1 needs to give the Andretti-Cadillac F1 is entering a critical phase and that time is starting to matter.

So says 1978 Formula 1 world champion Mario Andretti, whose son Michael Andretti is bidding to bring his Andretti Autosport empire into the sport with General Motors' backing.

However, while FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem has shown support for the new team to enter F1—most likely in 2026 when the sport's new regulations kick in—the bid is facing major opposition from existing teams who fear a dilution of their value and official income.

It means that, for the moment, the Andretti bid has the brakes on.

"The truth is that we are going on structuring the team, day by day, as though there was already a green light from the federation," Mario Andretti, 82, told the Italian magazine Autosprint. "A program like this is very complex so we need to keep moving, even if it's not at maximum speed. To put key names under contract, we need certainties, so from that point of view we are still on standby."

When asked how long it might be before Michael Andretti would just to call off the entire program if there's no positive decision from F1, Mario said: "Let's say that we could reasonably have an answer within a couple of months. But it is also true that, at this point, every day counts. Let's wait and see, but we are now in the decisive phase."

Andretti confirms that his son's bid has had the support of FIA president ben Sulayem "from the very first moment."

"It was he who advised us to find a partnership with a great manufacturer to give more strength, bite and depth to our F1 program," Mario said. "From there came the union with Cadillac, which means a commonality of intent with General Motors."

Mario Andretti also scoffed at the existing teams' arguments about why F1 should think twice about allowing 11th or even 12th entry to race.

"Money, money ... but what money?" said the Italian-born American. "How much do the annual earnings of a big team drop if we come along?

"In a situation of exponential growth for F1, to see an American-based team with an identity deeply rooted in the racing world would only be something extremely positive for everyone."