Andretti’s ‘massive challenge’ and ‘big risk’ identified, even if they earn F1 approval

Henry Valantine
The F1 logo and Michael Andretti

Andretti was rejected by FOM despite being approved by the FIA.

Former F1 strategist Bernie Collins has highlighted the “big risk” being taken by Andretti, even if their bid to join the grid is approved.

Andretti Global saw their proposal to become the 11th team on the grid approved by the FIA, but their bid failed when talks advanced to FOM, but that has not stopped the team working at pace to set themselves up for a place on the grid in future.

Bernie Collins: Andretti bid is ‘massive challenge’ for whole team

The latest step in Andretti’s plan was the opening of a factory in Silverstone last week as they step up their plans to get onto the grid in the coming seasons.

Their power unit partnership with General Motors through Cadillac is also a factor in what would become an all-American team, with their proposed ‘global’ base in Fishers, Indiana set to house Andretti’s motorsport endeavours across multiple series.

But even if their bid to join the grid is eventually approved, former Aston Martin strategist Collins explained that the amount of work to put the team in a place to be Formula 1 ready will be a huge undertaking – but the Silverstone base is a significant statement of intent in that direction.

“Setting up a new F1 team is a massive challenge, let alone setting up a new engine team, so it doesn’t surprise me that they want to do that in steps,” Collins explained on the Sky Sports F1 podcast.

“To bring in people, if I think of my own thing to say: ‘Right, you’ve got a clean slate on strategy, you can do whatever you want to, build the team around you’ – that is hard. recommends

F1 schedule: When is the next F1 race and where is it being held?

F1 vs IndyCar: Top speeds, engines, formats, calendars and safety measures all compared

“It’s hard to set it up, get the software in place, get the historic data, get all of the things that a team works on. You know, we work a lot on historic data, that’s not readily available to those of us that were just kicking around in the sidelines.

“So it’s very difficult and then, like you say, to recruit the right people in the team below you with no definitive end game, it’s a big risk.

“Maybe someone in a senior position can take that risk, but a lot of the junior people won’t be in the safe position of being fit to take any of those risks, so it will feel like a big risk.

“And it is very hard to get everything built around this two, three, four-year end goal because it’s just going to be very difficult, I think, to get the right people without first having a little show of hand of where you could be or what you do.

“The factory is probably the first physical step of that. That’s the first sign of real intent – not the first sign, but it’s a physical sign on the ground, in Silverstone, for the people that they’re trying to recruit that they are serious, this is not going away – and that will encourage people to get behind the project and devote their time to the project.”

Read next: Potential for change in Chinese GP pecking order as struggling team fast-tracks upgrade