Andretti planning F2, F3 program too if F1 Cadillac entry proposal succeeds

Oliver Harden
Michael Andretti in conversation. Austin October 2022.

Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti is preparing for a possible F1 entry.

Michael Andretti has vowed that his team will also have a presence in the Formula 2 and Formula 3 junior categories if his proposed entry to Formula 1 is successful.

IndyCar team owner Andretti has made no secret of his desire to land a place on the F1 grid and in January launched a renewed proposal in conjunction with American car giants General Motors via their Cadillac brand.

F1’s response was largely lukewarm, causing division among those hopeful of seeing more teams in the pit lane – including FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem – and existing outfits wary of being left with a smaller slice of the pie in the event of a new team arriving.

Andretti, the former McLaren grand prix driver and son of 1978 World Champion Mario, is promising a presence that extends beyond F1, with teams in F2 and F3 intended to train the next generation of drivers.

Ahead of this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix – the first of three grands prix across the United States in 2023 – he told US publication Racer: “We would set up shop over in England where we’re going to have the engineering shop for the F1 team.

“If the F1 deal comes through, I want to do Formula 3 and Formula 2 as well.

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“I want to be in control of bringing our drivers up through the system, because then you know what kind of equipment they have and how they’re being treated.”

With Andretti accustomed to success in IndyCar’s junior category, the 60-year-old is passionate about the development of young talent.

Frustrated by the rise of so-called pay drivers across motor racing, Andretti is insistent that any drivers coming through his system in F2 and F3 will be chosen on talent alone.

“It’s hard to judge the drivers coming up through the ranks over there,” he explained.

“Because if somebody’s got a big pocketbook, they get better treatment than a guy that’s got more talent, but that’s not how we do things in our teams.

“So that’s a goal I want to set up over there.”

Logan Sargeant became the first American driver to race in F1 since Alexander Rossi in 2015 when he made his debut for Williams at the Bahrain GP in March.

Having graduated from F2 over the winter, the 22-year-old – a product of the nine-time Constructors Champions’ young driver scheme – has shown flashes of pace but made a number of rookie errors in the first four rounds of his grand prix career.

The Miami GP will be considered a home race for Sargeant, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.