National Motorsport Academy

Andretti’s F1 Rejection: Team NMA’s Take

Our Take On the Andretti F1 Rejection

Unless your head has been under a rock, you’ve likely seen the recent news that Andretti’s plans of securing an entry in F1 have been pushed back following a rejection by the Formula One Group (FOM). But why? We’ll explore the reasons behind this decision to reject Andretti and we’ll speculate on why this happened, as well as looking at a few differing opinions from our tutors and followers. 

Andretti Autosport cars
A Few of Andretti's Previous Cars

So, without further ado, why did FOM reject Andretti?

In a document released by FOM, they wrote “We do not believe that there is a basis for any new applicant to be admitted in 2025, given that this would involve a novice entrant building two completely different cars in its first two years of existence,”

The FOM document then stated that an 11th team would cost more as extra facilities would be needed. It declared that it would reduce “technical, operational, and commercial spaces of the other competitors.” 

FOM also suggested that Andretti had not confirmed an engine supplier for 2026, despite rumours of a deal with Renault to use their engines until 2028.

Their final rejection came when FOM suggested that F1 would bring more value to the Andretti brand, rather than the other way around. They concluded that while Andretti could bring competitive value to F1, it was unlikely due to the new regulations coming in 2026. 

 

Essentially, FOM don’t appear to believe that Andretti will be good enough to compete, nor bring anything to the table financially or commercially. A very controversial opinion to reject an iconic name and an iconic team.

Michael Andretti
Chief Executive Officer & Chairman Andretti Autosport / Credit: Andreas Beil

For those who aren’t too familiar with Andretti Autosport, here’s a bit about their history;

Andretti Autosport, led by racing icon Michael Andretti, stands as a motorsport powerhouse. Founded in 2003, the team has left a mark on the racing landscape, competing at the highest levels and a legacy deeply rooted in success. 

Andretti Autosport are widely recognised for their participation in the NTT IndyCar Series, where they have won multiple championships with drivers such as Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Ryan Hunter-Reay and of course, the late, great Dan Wheldon. Andretti have also achieved multiple victories at prestigious events such as the Indy 500. Whilst most successful in Indycar, they have also tasted success in other championships beyond IndyCar, including Indy NXT, Formula E, IMSA and Extreme E. With a wide roster of talented drivers on their books, Andretti Autosport are certainly one of the biggest teams in the world.

It’s no secret that Andretti Autosport has been fighting to get on the F1 grid for a number of years. An article from Autosport in February 2022 revealed Andretti’s hopes of making it on the grid for 2024. In February 2023, Andretti claimed that they had done ‘everything asked of them’ and that they were prepared to put in a serious bid.

Since then, Andretti has faced multiple setbacks. Despite their best efforts to strengthen their bid — including a reported deal with Renault to use their engines, hiring staff, setting up an office in the UK, looking into prospective drivers such as Colton Herta, Kyle Kirkwood, and Alex Palou, testing a 2024 spec-model in the Toyota Wind Tunnel in Cologne, and receiving the green light from the FIA last October — it appears this plan still doesn’t convince FOM.

Jake Dennis celebrates his first win of the 2024 Formula E Season / Credit Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

So, what does this mean for the future of Andretti’s ambitions to join F1?

In short, Andretti’s hopes of joining the grid for 2025 or 2026 is unlikely to happen. There is still hope that they will apply for entry for the 2028 season, assuming they can secure their reported partnership with General Motorsports (GM) as an official engine supplier, where they would run a Cadillac engine. If they do apply for 2028, it gives them an extra four years to continue growing their brand and prove that it will, in fact, bring value to the Formula One name.

We’ve seen so many different opinions across the internet, so we thought we’d ask Business of Motorsport tutor James Bailey to summarise his thoughts. He writes,

‘It’s difficult to criticise Formula One Management. Under Liberty, the group has created more wealth for the teams than ever before. This was achieved by protecting the value of the existing teams by limiting them to ten, boosting their value to investors.

 The short-term gains have been incredible. However, longer-term, this decision concerns me. F1 has been built on a meritocratic system. Teams such as Stewart, Toleman, and Jordan now exist as Red Bull, Alpine, and Aston Martin. Ferrari, Williams, and McLaren grew from nothing to become giants of the sport. A closed shop mentality prevents this.

I feel Liberty has made the right decision to satisfy short-term investors, probably revealing its intention to sell F1 in the medium term. But for the longer term, it’s a mistake. F1 needs new entrants to grow talent, whether that’s drivers or engineers. – James Bailey, Business of Motorsport Tutor

We also opened the conversation up to a few of our followers on Instagram. Andy Lloyd from ‘EnduranceandGT’ said it is a “Disgraceful decision. US Fans will turn their back on F1 in droves.” He added that “Americans are very partisan and Andretti on the grid would have been a godsend. Netflix will be furious.”

NMA Student Ben Auty agreed, saying greed by saying “A level of greed that is unbelievable…. Very narrow-minded as well…. This attitude could come back to bite them.”

Anthony Casson wrote; “Really, really poor decision from F1. They exist in almost so many major motorsport categories and win. I’ll be curious to see how much criticism F1 gets for this decision.” 

On a complete contrast of opinions, Orhan Dincer agreed with the decisionto reject Andretti, saying “Right Decision, but Sad decision. I guess FIA thought Andretti will be like a new virgin/manor, Lotus/Caterham, etc.” 

What’s your opinion on Andretti’s rejection? Let us know in the comments section!

1 thought on “Andretti’s F1 Rejection: Team NMA’s Take”

  1. Graham John Sockett

    I think it’s a poor decision, more variety on the grid would be a good thing. Worst case would be that they finish at the back of the grid, but who does that hurt? If they were to bring a Cadillac engine into the mix this can also only be a good thing as the technology would filter back to the GM group of manufacturers.

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