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“I’m devastated”: Andretti was rejected by Formula 1

“I’m devastated”: Andretti was rejected by Formula 1
Michael Andretti
Image: Twitter

Unlike the FIA, the world automobile association, which had fueled the hopes of ex-racing driver Michael Andretti, the Formula 1 leadership came to the conclusion that an eleventh team would not be of any benefit to the racing series.

“We do not believe the applicant would be a competitive participant,” it said in a statement Wednesday.

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The fact that his son Michael Andretti initially failed prompted Mario Andretti to post an emotional post on social media. “I’m devastated. I won’t say anything else because I can’t think of any other words than devastated,” wrote the 1978 Formula 1 world champion on X after the racing series’ decision.

More value for the Andretti brand

For Formula 1 itself, however, it was clear that the name Andretti had a certain degree of recognition among Formula 1 fans, but “our research shows that Formula 1 would bring more value to the Andretti brand than the other way around,” explained the management the racing series.

Andretti had already published pictures of a car in the former Toyota wind tunnel in Cologne. The design has been in progress there since October.

Formula 1 also justified the decision with the major engine rule reform from 2026. Building a car and engine only for 2025 and thus being competitive, and then producing a completely new drive for 2026, was considered practically hopeless. In two years, half of the engines will be combustion engines and half will be electric, and they will also run on 100 percent sustainable fuel.

One last straw

Formula 1 still sees an opportunity for Andretti to get started, but only in four years. Then General Motors wants to cooperate with Andretti in the racing series as an independent engine supplier.

When the US car manufacturer announced this, FIA President Mohammed bin Sulayem was pleased. “The presence of the American cult brands Andretti and GM strengthens the long-term sustainability of the sport,” he emphasized.

The head of the International Automobile Association is a supporter of further entrants; his association also gave the Andretti application the green light. The current teams were skeptical about the plans from the start. You would then have to share the proceeds with another racing team.

Currently, a newcomer has to pay around 189 million euros as compensation, which is distributed among the existing teams. However, the racing teams are pushing for this payment to be increased significantly.

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