Andretti F1: Eddie Jordan hits out at ‘scandalous’ and ‘fundamentally wrong’ rejection

Oliver Harden
Michael Andretti with Eddie Jordan in a small circle

Eddie Jordan has been left saddened by F1's decision to reject Andretti's proposal.

Former team owner Eddie Jordan has criticised the decision to reject Andretti’s F1 entry, describing the move as “scandalous” and “fundamentally wrong.” 

Despite gaining FIA approval last October, Andretti’s application to join the F1 grid was rejected last month in a damning 1,434-word statement which argued the American team would not “provide value” to the sport.

The rejection of Andretti, who had linked up with iconic General Motors brand Cadillac for their planned entry, comes despite F1’s stated attempts to build a fanbase in the United States, with three grands prix held in America over the course of last season in Miami, Austin and Las Vegas.

Eddie Jordan slams F1, existing teams over Andretti rejection

Speaking via the Formula For Success podcast, Jordan claimed it would have been “a privilege” for Andretti to race in F1.

He said: “In my day, when I started my first race in 1991, there were 39 cars waiting to try and qualify for 24 slots on the grid.

“I should remind [you] that there is already a provision for 24 [cars] on the grid. Not 22, not 20: 24.

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“So there is an allocation at the moment and for Liberty to come out and say – despite the fact that the FIA had said that they’ve passed all of the criteria – that they hadn’t got their ducks in a row and they didn’t have the finance; when they had General Motors; they already had engines coming from Renault for the short term to get them over the passage.

“With a name like Andretti. With the possibility of people being employed. They will employ maybe 700-800 people – think about what income that [creates], it generates more value.

“It’s in the backyard of where we’re all trying to achieve greatness and that is in America – Drive to Survive.

“It’s natural that somebody like Andretti [would want to enter F1]. It’s a privilege for us to have somebody like Michael Andretti and his father Mario, a World Champion.

“I think it’s scandalous that these teams [have taken such a dim view of Andretti’s entry].

“Even though Liberty say the teams didn’t have an effect on this, that’s nonsense. Of course they have: they made it very clear that it’s closed shop, it’s us 10, forget everyone else, it’s a franchise.

“The teams aren’t stupid. Bernie [Ecclestone, former F1 chief executive] was incredibly fair about this, because he allowed other teams to come and go as they want.

“There’s Lamborghini, Prost, Ligier, Zakspeed, Honda, Suzuki, Toyota, BMW – great names, they’re not there anymore, but they were given the chance.

“So by normal deduction, there should be a flow in and a flow out. If you look at the [Premier League in football], three, go down, three go up.

“It’s a normal competitive fact and to think that the 10 teams in there can dictate to the world that it’s us, and us only, is fundamentally wrong and flies in the face of anyone that is fair and reasonable.”

Jordan claimed that Andretti’s rejection puts into sharp focus the balance of power between governing body the FIA and commercial rights holders Liberty Media.

He explained: “You’ve got conflict here. Who is the deciding law – is it the FIA or is it F1?

“The FIA, for me, was always the people to have an elected process of who is the president, who does this and who does that.

“I can promise you that the FIA would have given this great thought, great understanding, and in the interest of the sport they decided that there should and could be a position for Andretti.

“For Liberty or F1 or FOM – call them what you like – to come out and then say they do not meet the criteria, they do not believe that the $200million that they would have had to put into some form of escrow was sufficient and they couldn’t prove that, honestly that’s nonsense.

“The Andrettis, in my opinion, could do anything.

“Formula 1 needs the Andretti name. It’s a fantastic name. I am so sad that they’ve excluded him. I’m really sad.”

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