Fernando Alonso believes a green light for the proposed Andretti Global team would be “the best news” both they and Formula 1 could receive.
The Spaniard has a connection with Michael Andretti, whose team prepared the McLaren-Honda-Dallara driven by Alonso for his first crack at the Indianapolis 500 in 2017 – when he qualified fifth but retired with an engine failure towards the end having earlier led for 27 laps to be named the event’s Rookie of the Year.
Andretti is eager to enter a team in Formula 1 from 2024 but has yet to receive the official go-ahead from the FIA, with the sport’s promoters Liberty Media and some rival teams uncertain whether an 11th constructor is necessary.
But Alpine driver Alonso, whose outright employers Renault are likely to be Andretti’s engine supplier if the team gets off the ground, is not among the sceptics – indeed, he is very much in favour of seeing the family of motorsport “legends” join the F1 grid.
“Well, sure, it could be a big thing,” the double former World Champion told reporters. “I know Michael very well, I know the Andretti family and they are obviously a big part of motorsport in general and they are legends.
“So if we can have them in Formula 1 that will be the best news, I think for both. Formula 1 would benefit from that and obviously Michael and his team will benefit from the sport and from being in Formula 1.
“And I think they have the capabilities, the resources, they have the talent to be in Formula 1 and be competitive as well.
“So I hope this thing comes true in the next few years and I will follow very closely.”
In terms of where Andretti is up to with his application to the FIA, his father, Mario, the 1978 F1 World Champion, said the apparently slow progress is “not for the lack of trying”.
The 82-year-old added at the Miami Grand Prix: “There’s a process we are respecting and we are trying to check all the boxes we are expected to be checking and the objective is to be there, to be on the grid in 2024. We have a big, huge team that can make this happen.”
Liberty Media president Greg Maffei, meanwhile, said he does not think there is a “pressing need” for an extra constructor on the grid, but “a potential we may increase the teams over time”.