How will the Andretti F1 saga end? Six possible scenarios await the one true US team

Sam Cooper
Michael Andretti

The Andrettis have been trying to get onto the F1 grid for years

With the unveiling of a new Silverstone HQ, Andretti have made it clear they will press on with their F1 plans, but how could it end?

A rejection by FOM in January may have been seen by some as the final nail in the coffin but the American team continues to pursue their F1 dream – so here are six ways it could come to a conclusion.

Andretti accepted onto the F1 grid

The first and most obvious option is that FOM will eventually relent and allow Andretti onto the grid.

In their scathing remarks explaining why Andretti had failed to make the cut, FOM made a point that “the presence of an 11th team would not, on its own, provide value to the Championship.”

They went on to state that value to the championship would come in the form of being competitive, something they did not believe Andretti could be, but say Andretti go on to prove otherwise, F1 would then have another question to answer.

It is clear Andretti is putting its money where its mouth is and the opening of a 48,000 square foot base at Silverstone is the latest example of them refusing to go away. The money, time and effort already invested suggest Andretti are not willing to take no for an answer, the only question is can they jump through enough hoops for F1 to say yes?

Andretti rejected but given a glimmer of hope?

If the answer to that question is no then Andretti’s fate is clear, or at least it was. There could be a situation where FOM never give the green light and yet we see an Andretti car on the grid.

F1 rules dictate that for a team to compete, they only need a licence from the FIA, something Andretti would likely receive and German outlet AMuS reported that Andretti could in theory be granted a spot with the approval of the FIA but not FOM, meaning it would be the latter’s job not to show Andretti’s entry.

Even FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem suggested such an agreement could take place but if that were to pass, it would be an embarrassing affair for FOM and one they would do well to avoid.

While that situation seems unlikely to ever become a reality, FOM will likely not back down should they decide Andretti does not have a spot.

Andretti and FOM go head to head in the courts

If both parties do hold firm, a courtroom battle looks likely. As to what form such a case would take is for the people whose paychecks have far more zeros than mine but Felipe Massa has shown that there are those who are willing to take F1 to court if they believe they have a case.

But even if it does make it to the bench, it is hard to see how Andretti could win a case given FOM owns the rights and therefore has almost free rein to do as they please.

Andretti buys an existing team

Buying a team is an option that plenty have suggested but right now, no one is selling.

Andretti first tried to make it to F1 by purchasing Sauber in 2021 only for the deal to collapse late into proceedings, while reports of an interest in Haas have never been too far away.

But until now, teams have been unwilling to get off this very lucrative gravy train. A report by Forbes suggested the current valuation of F1 teams is $1.88 billion and without significant investors backing them, Andretti are unlikely to have that money hiding behind the couch cushions.

Haas have remained resolute in staying on the grid while Alpine have recently denied rumours they are up for sale. Helmut Marko has again hinted their junior team may be on the market but that will also cost a hefty amount for the Andrettis.

Andretti stick to F2 and F3

As well as the news of their Silverstone base, this week also saw reports that Andretti were planning F2 and F3 entries in order to establish a factory line of American talent.

Getting into those series will be far easier, and far cheaper, than an F1 spot is looking likely to be. But, say if the F1 door is closed, they may choose to continue in the lower categories.

While it is not the glitz and glamour of F1, F2 and F3 would allow Andretti to reach a new market and put their car in front of new fans during an F1 weekend.

The likes of Prema have shown how to be successful in the lower categories and there is no reason to suggest Andretti could not become a big player in shaping some of F1’s future stars. Do that for a few years and FOM may look more kindly on an F1 entry.

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General Motors go separate

If FOM and the other teams had their way, this would likely be their preferred outcome and that is General Motors to split off from Andretti.

It is easy to see why. GM is one of the biggest car companies in the world and in particular, a huge brand in the US so adding them to the F1 stable would be another illustrious name for the sport to boast.

But right now, GM do not want to budge. Unlike say Mercedes, Ferrari or even Ford, GM does not seem too fussed about being in F1 and were sold the idea by Andretti.

To date, they remain steadfast in that partnership and even if FOM would like them to split, GM has no interest in doing so.

They will build an engine for the 2028 season onwards but have always insisted it will be in the back of an Andretti car. If it is a firm no for Andretti, the company could enter solely as an engine supplier but right now, that looks incredibly unlikely.

Immovable object meets unstoppable force.

Right now, it is just about anyone’s guess how Andretti’s F1 future will play out with both players very firm in their beliefs.

As more and more money gets poured into the project, it is clear Andretti will not back down. But, for now at least, it seems FOM will not surrender either.

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