Andretti Cadillac, FIA and more reactions to new F1 entry snub: “Strongly disagree”

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After F1 released a statement citing the reasons for which it would not accept a new team in the form of Andretti for either 2025 or 2026, the Andretti Cadillac group reacted with a firm stance, stating that they “strongly disagree” with the decision taken by FOM. Former F1 legend Mario Andretti said he was “devastated” at the news.

Yesterday, Formula 1 officially rejected Andretti’s bid for a new team in the sport in 2025/2026, with the main reasons being a lack of added value to the sport, lack of relative competitiveness due to having to build cars for two different regulation sets in the span of one year, and the absence of a works power unit deal to start with – something that would come along in 2028, when the entry would have to be looked at differently, according to the statement from the Formula One Management Group.

And with it came a strong reaction and backlash, especially from fans across the globe wanting to see an 11th team on the grid. But even more importantly, the Andretti Cadillac Group released a statement in which it made it clear that they “strongly disagree” with the decision taken by FOM, and expressed they are committed to placing a “competitive” and “genuine” American works team in F1:

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

It was also reiterated that “work continues” in the project despite the snub from F1, possibly indicating they are still looking at getting an entry in 2028, when the General Motors works power unit deal might come into force.

“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.”

1978 F1 world champion and father of Michael Andretti – the owner of Andretti’s F1 team in the works – Mario Andretti posted a tweet on X (formerly Twitter) lamenting the news, saying that he is “devastated” and limited himself to that at this moment.

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

It’s worth remembering that before F1’s snub, came a formal process of ‘Expression of Interest’ from possible new F1 teams opened by the FIA exactly a year ago, in which a thorough analysis of every single entrant left only Andretti with the green light from the governing body.

In reaction to the news, the FIA has released a statement today in which it claims to have “noted” the announcement from FOM, and more intriguingly, said will be engaging in talks with F1 to “determine the next steps”:

“The FIA notes the announcement from Formula One Management in relation to the FIA Formula One World Championship teams’ Expressions of Interest process.

“We are engaging in dialogue to determine next steps.”

When the FIA approved Andretti’s bid, that meant a direct clash with F1 themselves, as the teams and the sport itself proved reluctant to the idea of having to dilute the prize pool with another team and believing the current $200m entry fee was “too low” considering the value the sport has managed to aggregate in the last few years thanks to its exponential growth since the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive.

Former F1 driver and current Sky F1 pundit, Martin Brundle told Sky Sports News that whilst he would “love” to see a new team join the sport from a fan perspective, he has sympathy for the current teams who have put their money and faith in the sport when it wasn’t in such a healthy financial state and during the pandemic:

“As a Formula 1 fan, as a commentator, I would love there to be an 11th and indeed a 12th team on the grid, not least because drivers like Verstappen, Leclerc, Lando Norris, and others [like] George Russell at Mercedes have signed up for a very long time to stay in the same teams.

“The calendar is fairly mature these days going forward, so it’ll be quite exciting to see that, but it’s much more complex than that,” he said. “This does put the FIA absolutely head-to-head with Formula One Management and Liberty Media, the financial rights holders, because the FIA said yes, Formula 1 have said no to what they often refer to in that document, it’s just come out as an 11th team, rather than necessarily Andretti.

“They’re quite rightly saying that for Andretti as a new team, ‘novice’, as they called them, to build a brand-new car for 2025 and then when the regulations change fundamentally for 2026 to start all over again, it’s too much of a tall order. They think they won’t be competitive.”

Brundle believes this is not the end of the Andretti/F1/FIA saga, which he thinks will run for a “good while” still. He also pointed out how there are logistical considerations to be had ahead of accepting another squad into the sport, like pit lane and paddock structures – although from 2010-2012 the grid had 24 cars – some mightily uncompetitive – and there were no such problems then:

“Andretti will no doubt say, ‘Well, give us a chance. We’re a mighty organisation with a lot of funding, we’ll show you what we can do and look at some of the other teams on the grid’ – so this is going to run for a good while.

“Also, a really punchy line in there says that ‘this would do more for the Andretti brand than it would for Formula 1’.

“Of course, there’s the logistics too of getting an extra team in the pit lane and around the world for what is a 24-race calendar this year. It’s not just as easy as going: ‘Well, yeah, let’s just put two more cars on the grid.’ We’ve got to get them on the grid, have a garage, have a pit lane big enough, and so on and so forth. So I’d say lots of rationale.”

Another big consideration, and some may say this is the most important of them all, is that the current teams don’t want to dilute their prize pot with a new entrant, after he exponential growth of the sport in the last few years. Brundle even compared it to a “club” in which Andretti is trying to join when all is well and good, whilst the current teams have been through thick and thin during some previous years when the sport wasn’t in such a healthy state:

“This is peak F1 we’re in here and the teams no doubt will be saying: ‘Hang on a minute. Many of us have poured billions to get Formula 1 where it is now, into our team, and there’s demand all over the world for races. Fans, tickets, grandstands have sold out, you can’t just come and join our club now when everything’s going so well. You’re going to have to show us what you can bring to the table.’”

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