“It leaves a bad taste in your mouth” — former Andretti IndyCar drivers Hunter-Reay and Daly react to F1’s rejection of Andretti’s bid

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It’s been a painful week for Andretti. On Wednesday afternoon European time, Formula 1 released a statement to confirm that they rejected their application to be on the F1 grid in 2026, outlining their reasons in no uncertain terms.

Before and after the stunning news of Lewis Hamilton’s move to Scuderia Ferrari was broken and then confirmed officially, the big story was Andretti versus F1.

After an initial response where they strongly disagreed with F1’s decision and comments on Wednesday, Andretti and Cadillac released a second statement on Friday to query things said by the sport over their bid to enter.

Following the announcement by Dreyer & Reinbold Racing that IndyCar veterans Conor Daly and Ryan Hunter-Reay will be driving their cars in the month of May as they attempt to cause a massive upset at the Indy 500, the two American drivers got asked about their opinions on F1 rejecting Andretti.

Daly drove for Andretti Autosport at the 2019 Indy 500, finishing an excellent 10th on the day. He was perplexed by the decision.

“I dislike it for the Andretti name. It’s just sad. They put a lot of work into that. I’ve seen a lot of effort go into it.

“Why wouldn’t you want to race against the best? If you’re not going to get to race against more folks…

“I don’t know. Kind of weird for me. There’s a lot more to that one.”

For Hunter-Reay, it leaves a really bitter feeling. The 43-year-old won the IndyCar championship with Andretti in 2012, and he conquered the Indy 500 with Michael Andretti’s team two years later.

“Yeah, I agree [with Daly]. It just doesn’t make sense. Obviously Andretti has the funding, the capabilities of going in there, and I think being competitive.

“Look at the past. I think Marshall Pruett said it yesterday [Wednesday] afternoon or whatever it was, that you enjoyed watching some of these underdog teams come in and try and fight against the powerhouses of McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes.

“It kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It makes you feel like this isn’t the real deal, this isn’t what racing is all about.”

There has been a large outcry from Motorsport fans, journalists and drivers over this decision by F1/FOM/Liberty Media. With only 20 seats available in the sport at present, Andretti’s incredible success in various racing categories over many decades, and the fact they would have brought General Motors into the sport, the anger is completely justified.

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