World Champion Mario Andretti issues first words on ‘devastating’ F1 rejection

Sam Cooper
Mario Andretti

Mario Andretti has become the first family member to speak publicly following the team's rejection.

Mario Andretti has said he is “devastated” after his family’s team was officially rejected from joining the F1 grid.

1978 World Champion had been hoping to become the newest name on the F1 grid but after three months of deliberation, Formula 1 officially rejected the bid on Wednesday.

Citing sporting and financial issues, the sport made it clear that in no uncertain terms Andretti would not be welcome on the F1 grid in 2025.

Mario Andretti reacts to team’s ‘devastating’ rejection

The bid was headed up by Mario Andretti’s son, Michael, but the 83-year-old was an active figure in the team’s campaigning.

And after the news of the bid’s rejection was made public, Andretti said the only word he could find was “devastated.”

“I’m devastated,” he tweeted. “I won’t say anything else because I can’t find any other words besides devastated.”

The Andretti family were first informed of the result in December but declined an opportunity to meet with F1 in person to resent their application.

Son and team principal Michael has yet to comment on the matter, but recently in an interview with The Athletic he said a rejection would be depriving F1 fans around the world of a genuine 11th F1 team.

“As Mohammed [Ben Sulayem, FIA president] has said a number of times, the benefits we will bring to the sport and the championship are so obvious,” Michael Andretti told The Athletic.

“I can’t imagine anyone would want to try to stop us, and deprive racing fans of the opportunity to see a genuine American works team going head-to-head with the legendary names currently competing in F1.”

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While we have not heard from Michael Andretti directly, yet, a statement was issued by the team and their partners Cadillac and publicly declared their strong disagreement with F1’s findings.

“Andretti Cadillac has reviewed the information Formula One Management Limited has shared and strongly disagree with its contents,” they said.

“Andretti and Cadillac are two successful global motorsports organizations committed to placing a genuine American works team in F1, competing alongside the world’s best.

“We are proud of the significant progress we have already made on developing a highly competitive car and power unit with an experienced team behind it, and our work continues at pace.

“Andretti Cadillac would also like to acknowledge and thank the fans who have expressed their support.”

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