Sky F1 pundit Martin Brundle does not believe Haas would get an entry into Formula 1 if they were applying now, as he concluded that Andretti-Cadillac will only get into the series by buying an existing team such as Haas.
The union of Andretti Autosport and General Motors brand Cadillac was pushing, with FIA approval, to secure clearance to become the 11th Formula 1 team, with a date of arrival as soon as 2025 in-mind, while General Motors had stated their intention to become an F1 power unit manufacturer come 2028.
None of that was enough to convince Formula 1 though, the series rejecting the Andretti-Cadillac bid, though the door was left slightly ajar for a fresh attempt looking ahead to 2028 if they were to serve as a GM factory or customer team.
Martin Brundle: Haas would not be accepted by F1 if applying now
Formula 1 already has an American team in the form of Haas, though they also operate from the UK and Italy and are striving to bounce back from a highly disappointing 2023 campaign where they returned to the foot of the Constructors’ Championship.
Brundle claims that if Haas were in Andretti’s position now of applying to join the grid, then F1 would not give them the green light either, though their existing status as one of the 10 teams that contributed to F1’s remarkable popularity surge, particularly in the US, is the key differentiator which saves their place.
“I think if Haas were applying now to Formula 1 as it is in 2024, I don’t think they’d get an entry to be honest,” said Brundle. “In the way that they operate and the structure of their team, partly in Italy, the UK and America.
“But they’re already in the club. That’s the key part here and they’ve been part of building the recent success and soaring awareness of Formula 1.”
Buying existing team ‘only’ route into F1 now for Andretti-Cadillac
The existing 10 teams, or franchises, have seen their values skyrocket in recent years thanks to F1’s success, with the impression given that a takeover of one is how F1 would accept a new name on the scene going forward.
Therefore, Brundle believes to buy a team like Haas is the “only” option for Andretti-Cadillac now.
“So can Andretti try to buy Haas? Is Haas for sale? Are any of the other teams for sale? Because that looks to be now the only way for them onto the grid,” Brundle suggested.
“But, I think we have to take away the emotion of it being called Andretti. Yes, Andretti is an incredible name. Anybody around the world knows of Mario Andretti, former Formula 1 World Champion of course, but I think you have to take that emotion away and call it Team A if you like, and really coldly look at how how they would operate, what can they bring to the table? And how successful might they be?”
Sadly for Andretti-Cadillac, Gene Haas already has made it clear that he will not entertain the idea of selling his team.
“I didn’t get into F1 to sell [the team],” he insisted to the Formula 1 website. “I did it because I wanted to race.
“We’re not here to cash out, we want to race and be competitive.”
Haas added that his team “want to be able to survive for the next 10 years”, so it looks like Andretti-Cadillac will need to look elsewhere.
Owner Michael Andretti did previously come close to securing a spot on the F1 grid via a takeover of Sauber, which fell through in the closing stages in 2021.