Andretti F1 entry REJECTED as F1 issues biting bid assessment

Thomas Maher
Andretti logo, Michael Andretti

F1 has rejected the possibility of Andretti making the grid over the next couple of years, but has left the door open for 2028...

Formula 1 has issued a statement rejecting the Andretti Global entry into Formula 1 over the coming seasons.

Andretti’s attempts to enter Formula 1 over the coming seasons have been brutally rejected by Formula 1, with a full assessment offered by the sport to clarify the reasons for the rejection.

Last year, the FIA invited applicants to tender for application to the championship, with the Andretti entry – overseen by former F1 driver Michael Andretti, son of 1978 World Champion Mario –  being the most serious of the applications. That application, having passed the initial stages outlined by the FIA, has now been rejected.

Andretti entry bid rejected by Formula 1

With the FIA confirming in October 2023 that Andretti’s application had fulfilled the initial selection criteria, the governing body indicated Andretti could proceed to the next stage – that being an assessment by Formula 1 as the commercial rights holder (Liberty Media – CRH).

This process was to determine whether or not Andretti’s entry would bring value to the championship – both the FIA and F1 must agree for an applicant to make it onto the grid.

Critically, F1 says a letter of invitation to an in-person meeting with Andretti to discuss the application was not taken up by Andretti and has now outlined how the team’s entry should not be considered for inclusion on the grid in either 2025 or ’26.

What reasons did F1 give for Andretti rejection?

In a statement issued to the media, F1 stated that, in itself, an 11th team wouldn’t necessarily add any value to the championship.

The justification for this is that an 11th team needed to show that its involvement would be of material benefit to the championship or to the CRH.

“The most significant way in which a new entrant would bring value is by being competitive, in particular by competing for podiums and race wins,” said the statement.

“This would materially increase fan engagement and would also increase the value of the Championship in the eyes of key stakeholders and sources of revenue such as broadcasters and race promoters.”

Andretti’s link-up with Cadillac through General Motors, a huge coup for the entry, didn’t sway F1 either.

While GM would link up with Andretti, the manufacturer would not be a power supplier initially – instead being a ‘silent partner’ for the first few years. F1 said a GM power unit supply from the outset would have “enhanced its credibility”, although a novice constructor and novice power unit supplier “would also have a significant challenge to overcome.”

With the chassis and power unit regulations also going through revolutionary changes between 2025 and ’26, requiring very different designs on both fronts, F1 also scoffed the suggestion that Andretti would design and build a car for the final year of the current regulations only to immediately design and build a car for the new regulations almost immediately.

Without a GM power unit from the get-go, F1 also explained that the existing power unit manufacturers – one of whom would be made to supply an engine based on the sporting regulations forcing them to do so – would “inevitably be reticent to extend its collaboration with [Andretti] beyond the minimum required while [Andretti] pursues its ambition of collaborating with GM as a PU supplier in the longer term, which the compulsory PU supplier would see as a risk to its intellectual property and know-how.”

As a result, F1 said there’s no basis to allow a new applicant in for 2025 and questioned Andretti’s own attitude towards the regulations by saying: “The fact that [Andretti] proposes to do so gives us reason to question their understanding of the scope of the challenge involved.”

Despite Andretti’s success in other motorsport categories, F1 also said that the sport ” represents a unique technical challenge to constructors of a nature that [Andretti] has not faced in any other formula or discipline in which it has previously competed, and it proposes to do so with a dependency on a compulsory PU supply in the initial years of its participation.

“On this basis, we do not believe that [Andretti] would be a competitive participant.”

F1 also explained that, on the power unit front, the challenge facing a new power unit manufacturer is not one to be underestimated. Citing how “major automotive manufacturers have struggled in the past”, F1 conceded that GM has the resources and credibility to do so but that “success is not assured”.

F1 would ‘bring more value to Andretti’ than the other way around

Examining Andretti’s application through a commercial lens, F1 said the team could provide value to the championship provided they are competitive. However, F1 bluntly said: “We do not believe that [Andretti] would be a competitive participant”.

While the regulations do have a clause to force existing power unit manufacturers to supply customers that can’t find a willing partner, F1 has shied away from making that happen by saying it would be “damaging to the prestige and standing” of the sport.

In a real poke in the eye for Andretti, the statement also said “While the Andretti name carries some recognition for F1 fans, our research indicates that F1 would bring value to the Andretti brand rather than the other way around.”

F1 also said they could not forecast any material positive effects on financial results for the CRH, while also placing additional operational burdens on race promoters alongside a reduction in technical, operational, and commercial opportunities for the other 10 teams.

“We do not believe that the Applicant has shown that it would add value to the Championship,” concluded the statement.

“We conclude that the Applicant’s application to participate in the Championship should not be successful.”

However, the door might not be completely shut for Andretti who, only this week, revealed they are continuing with a full-speed-ahead approach to preparing for a possible F1 entry over the next year or two.

F1 said the prospect of entry into the 2028 championship with GM backing, either as a factory entry or a customer team, could be looked upon differently, particularly in respect of bringing a new OEM into the sport.

Finally, while many of the current F1 teams made their lack of enthusiasm for an Andretti entry very obvious, F1 said their assessment of Andretti’s application “did not involve any consultation with the current F1 teams.

“However, in considering the best interests of the Championship we took account of the impact of the entry of an 11th team on all commercial stakeholders in the Championship.”

The FIA declined to comment on F1’s statement when approached by PlanetF1.com.

Read Next: F1 did not just reject Andretti’s bid…they tore it to absolute pieces