Christian Horner offers Andretti a ‘natural solution’ to end tough 11th F1 team battle

Sam Cooper
Christian Horner at a press conference

Christian Horner insisted Andretti’s nationality had nothing to do with their F1 rejection.

Christian Horner has insisted the reason behind the rejection of Andretti onto the F1 grid has nothing to do with them being American and suggested the quickest way onto the grid is to buy an existing team.

The Andrettis took to Washington recently to seek political support for their bid but for the meantime, the door onto the F1 grid remains firmly shut.

Christian Horner reacts to latest Andretti F1 step

The American family have not been perturbed by their rejection earlier this year and recently unveiled a new Silverstone base to continue their F1 operations. They also acquired the expertise of Pat Symonds, poaching him away from his technical role within F1.

But for the time being, this work has no end point with FOM steadfast on their refusal of Andretti’s entry and the existence of an 11th team, something the current constructors have expressed a similar view on.

The matter was brought up again in the build up to the Monaco GP with Christian Horner asked if his thoughts on the Andretti bid had changed given the recent development.

“I think Andretti is a great racing heritage,” he told media including “Mario is a legend of the sport and of course, [they are partnered with] Cadillac, the huge automotive manufacturer from the US.

“I think Formula 1 have said in 2028, if they were to come with their own engine, they would obviously review it but I think in addition to that, I think that if Andretti were to want to come, a little like Audi acquired Sauber, I think to protect the current franchises’ stability that we have in the sport, then, obviously, their best route to the goal is to acquire one of the existing teams.”

But many outside of the paddock are beginning to feel the rejection is particularly pointed with Mario Andretti claiming this week that Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei said he would “do everything in my power to see that Michael [Andretti] never enters Formula 1.'”

This follows a growing resentment from the US fanbase who believe F1 is happy to take their money but not happy to have a fully-American team. Horner, though, has said nationality has nothing to do with it.

“We’re US owned, we have five Fortune 500 companies on our car,” he said.” I think that this isn’t about anything to do with Andretti being American or anything like that. I think it is purely down to the business model that is Formula 1.

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“I remember not so long ago that there would always be two teams at the tail end of the grid needing to be bailed out or be technically insolvent.

“We finally got into a position where there’s great strength and health in Formula 1 and Liberty have to be congratulated because they’ve created a model where even the worst team in Formula 1 probably has a billion dollar valuation.

“I think the approach that they brought by opening the sport [up] as well and bringing in new fans into the sport, they have to be commended on it.

“I was surprised to see that Andretti had gone down this [political] process but hopefully if they really want to find a way onto the grid, they will find it but I think the most natural solution is for them to acquire an existing franchise should want one to sell.”

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