Martin Brundle issues F1 warning amid ‘surprising’ FIA, Andretti rejection response

Oliver Harden
Andretti logo and Michael Andretti.

F1 has rejected the possibility of Andretti making the grid over the next couple of years.

Sky F1 pundit Martin Brundle has admitted he has been left “very surprised” by the silence from the FIA and Andretti since the American team’s entry was rejected last month.

Andretti have pushed hard to secure an F1 admission over the last 12 months, joining forces with iconic General Motors brand Cadillac – who had even committed to becoming an engine supplier from 2028 – to put forward an irresistible proposal.

Despite gaining the approval of governing body the FIA last October, Andretti’s application was rejected by the sport’s commercial rights holders – who argued the American team would bring little value to F1 – in January.

Martin Brundle struck by FIA, Andretti silence

Brundle has been left struck at the way the saga has died down over recent weeks, reiterating his desire to see at least one more team on the grid.

Appearing on the Sky F1 podcast, he said: “It’s all been very quiet.

“Formula 1 put a three pager [statement] out that was very well written, Andretti came back a little bit and said: ‘We weren’t aiming at ’25 with yet another new car for 2026, we were actually aiming at 2026 and we didn’t get the invitation – it got lost in spam – to go to the presentation in December’ – which seems all a little bit odd. recommends

Life after Guenther Steiner: How Ayao Komatsu is planning his own Haas revolution

F1 predictions: The pecking order heading into first F1 2024 race

“I’m very surprised we haven’t heard anything from the FIA or really from Andretti since that decision was made.

“I would personally like to see an 11th and even a 12th team on the grid. It’s another two team managers to speak to and another four drivers and four cars to look at.

“For example, if you have a massive first-corner shunt somewhere you lose six or seven cars, so I think the show could do with it. Nothing to do with Andretti in that respect.

“I understand why a lot of the teams in Formula 1 were like: ‘No, we don’t want to share the pie out anymore, we’re quite happy with 20 cars, our pit lane is full of all the things that go on in the pit lane including hospitality and what have you whether it’s [the] Brad Pitt movie or whatever.’

“So they certainly didn’t need it and they think that Andretti, with the customer engine, won’t really be bringing anything to Formula 1 – it’ll take more than it’ll give.

“So whether they’re regrouping quietly for anti-trust laws or anti-competition laws in the EU, I don’t know, but it all it all seems to have gone away very easily.”

Brundle has warned against F1 becoming complacent during its current popularity boom, pointing to the tale of Force India – who entered administration in July 2018 – as evidence that the sport’s landscape was very different just a few years ago.

Force India were rescued by the Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who has since built the Silverstone-based outfit – now Aston Martin – into one of the leading teams on the grid.

Brundle said: “Andretti is a massive name in America, of course, but I think Formula 1 mustn’t be too confident. You’ve got to think a little bit longer term.

“And I’ll give you [a story from] just a short while ago: Force India was about to collapse, everybody losing their jobs, the team at Silverstone evaporating, going broke.

“And that’s turned into the incredible investment that Lawrence Stroll has made and others at Aston Martin.

“There are a number of other teams that were pretty shaky four or five years ago, let’s be honest.

“And we’re now sitting with this magnificent position we find ourselves in, where all the teams are solvent and doing good business and looking pretty professional.

“But let’s not assume it’s always going to stay that way.

“What goes around comes around on that, so I think we need to think long and hard about having some more credible teams available.”

Read next: The six biggest F1 mysteries to start solving at the Bahrain Grand Prix