Michael Andretti seeking F1 entry confirmation as a ‘nice Christmas present’

Sam Cooper
Michael Andretti smiling. Austin, October 2022

Michael Andretti smiling. Austin, October 2022

The Andretti family are hoping they will get a “nice Christmas present” of official confirmation of their entry to Formula 1.

Rumoured for many years, the Andretti bid came to life in February when Mario confirmed his son Michael had submitted an official proposal to FIA.

However, they may have accepted their route into the sport to be a little easier as 10 months on from the initial announcement, minimal progress has been made.

The main sticking point has been the current teams’ refusal to share a slice of the pie and add an 11th constructor without a belief they would recoup their losses with an increase in the income brought into the sport.

Michael Andretti, who was seen talking to Formula 1 executives at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix in May, seems to have made little progress in persuading the unenthusiastic opponents to the family’s bid, but he has now revealed a final decision may soon be close.

Speaking to the The Indianapolis Star, which is based in the same city as Andretti’s motorsport ventures, Andretti said they were hoping for a “nice Christmas present” in the coming weeks.

“We’re hoping in the next couple weeks,” the 60-year-old said. “That would sure be a nice Christmas present.”

Andretti also ruled out any chance of purchasing the AlphaTauri team with rumours circulating that Red Bull may be willing to sell after founder Dietrich Mateschitz’s death.

“No, they’re not interested,” he confirmed. “But we’re working every day [to earn clearance for an expansion team]. I’m still confident. We’re getting close. We haven’t gotten the ‘OK’ yet, but we’re getting really close.”

A timeline of Andretti’s F1 venture

October 2021 – The Andretti Group attempts to buy Sauber but the deal collapses late on over disagreements as to who would have control of the team.

February 2022 – Mario Andretti tweets that his son Michael has made a proposal to the FIA. “Michael has applied to the FIA to field a new F1 team starting in 2024,” Mario said. “His entry, Andretti Global, has the resources and checks every box. He is awaiting the FIA’s determination.”

April 2022 – Two months go by with still no answer, Michael Andretti says he is pressing on despite the lack of response from the FIA.

May 2022 – Crtitics begin to speak out on Andretti’s proposed arrival as Michael Andretti is pictured speaking to high-ranking F1 executives at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.

June 2022 – Toto Wolff, the biggest opponent to the entry, says he has yet to see the value of adding an 11th team. Fellow American Zak Brown meanwhile says he is disappointed by the “resistance” to the bid.

August 2022Andretti announce a new $200m [£170m] facility which will host “future racing initiatives” in 2025.

September 2022Mario Andretti tells PlanetF1.com that the Andretti Global F1 effort is still “full speed ahead”, despite the knockbacks from Formula 1’s leading figures. Meanwhile, F1 president Stefano Domenicali states his belief that Formula 1 does not need an 11th team.

December 2022 – Michael Andretti says they have made pretty good progress on their work before saying they were hoping for a “nice Christmas present” of an entry confirmation.

Read more: Nico Rosberg explains his ‘isolation’ at key point of Mercedes career