F1 Makes It Clear It Doesn't Want Andretti, Just American Money

F1 Makes It Clear It Doesn't Want Andretti, Just American Money

In a decision emblematic of Formula 1’s stance on the United States, F1 Management has rejected Andretti Global’s entry to join the world championship in 2025. While lucrative races, sponsorship deals and television audience are more than welcome, actual American involvement is a non-starter. FOM has dangled some false hope for the Cadillac-backed effort by stating the entry could reapply to join for the 2028 season with some caveats.

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FOM, the championship’s commercial rights holder, claims that the addition of Andretti or any 11th team would put an undue financial burden on the championship with little or no benefit, Motorsport.com reports. However, the crux of the rejection was the belief that Andretti-Cadillac would be uncompetitive in F1. FOM’s statement on the matter reads:

Our assessment process has established that the presence of an 11th team would not, on its own, provide value to the championship. The most significant way in which a new entrant would bring value is by being competitive. We do not believe that the applicant would be a competitive participant.

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, motorsport’s governing body, had approved Andretti’s application last October and deemed that the outfit had the technical capacity to compete in Grand Prix racing.

Michael Andretti, team owner and 1991 IndyCar champion, had already navigated every obstacle put in front of him. F1 teams initially demanded that he buy an existing team, but none were for sale. When handed a lofty $200 million expansion fee, Andretti amassed the financial might to cover the fee. When told to bring value to F1, Andretti made a deal with General Motors.

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The final hurdle was the power unit that Andretti would put in its F1 machines. GM announced that it would build a turbo hybrid V6 engine for the 2028 season. Until then, Andretti would have to be the customer of another manufacturer. F1’s regulations stipulate that if Andretti or any other team can’t reach a supply deal with an engine-makers then the current manufacturer with the least amount of customers would be obligated to supply them.

F1 has kicked the can down the road, directly stating that there could be a different outcome in 2028 with a GM engine. The statement continues:

We 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.

Photo: Alex Bierens de Haan (Getty Images)

Formula One hasn’t shown this level of caution or restraint with any other American venture. Williams team boss James Vowles was vocally against Andretti’s entry but encouraged General Motors to join F1 with an existing team, like how Ford has partnered with Red Bull Racing. There are currently three races per season in the United States, with the latest being a $500 million event on the Las Vegas Strip. F1 built a new North American headquarters in the casino oasis and the Las Vegas Grand Prix proved to be the most profitable event in the sport’s history.

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FOM and F1’s teams are doing everything in their power to ensure that Americans remain a passive dollar-printing audience with Williams driver Logan Sargarent being the only American actually allowed to compete in F1.