Mario Andretti 'devastated' after F1 rejects team entry

F1 great Mario Andretti
F1 great Mario Andretti
Image: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images


Formula One great Mario Andretti said he was devastated by the sport's rejection of a proposed Andretti Cadillac entry as an 11th team from 2025.

Liberty Media-owned Formula One ruled out the bid on Wednesday, doubting it would be competitive or add value, but kept a door open for 2028 when General Motors could provide an engine.

The statement also suggested — stingingly — that the Andretti brand, led by Mario's son and 1991 CART champion Michael, had more to gain from Formula One than the other way around.

“I'm devastated. I won't say anything else because I can't find any other words besides devastated,” 1978 F1 world champion and 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Andretti, 83, posted on social media site X.

Those reacting to his comment included NASCAR Cup champion and team owner Brad Keselowski, who replied: “Sorry. This stinks”.

Andretti Cadillac said separately they strongly disagreed with the contents of Formula One Management's statement, and indicated they would not give up.

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

“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.”

The governing FIA approved the application last year, sending it on to Liberty Media-owned Formula One Management (FOM), and the outcome left the regulator at odds with the commercial rights holder.

Existing teams had opposed expansion, without having a say in the matter, and argued it would reduce their value and dilute the share of the revenues.

They also felt a $200 million entry payment, to be distributed among the existing 10, would have been insufficient when some teams are valued at more than $1 billion.

FOM concluded that the application “should not be successful”.

“Our assessment process has established that the presence of an 11th team would not, on its own, provide value to the championship,” it explained.

“The most significant way in which a new entrant would bring value is by being competitive. We do not believe that the applicant would be a competitive participant.”

Formula One said it would look differently on a future application “either as a GM works team or as a GM customer team designing all allowable components in-house”.

“In this case there would be additional factors to consider in respect of the value that the applicant would bring to the championship, in particular in respect of bringing a prestigious new OEM (car maker) to the sport as a PU supplier.”

The sport said a 2025 entry would have involved “a novice entrant building two completely different cars in its first two years of existence”.

“The fact that the applicant proposes to do so gives us reason to question their understanding of the scope of the challenge involved.”

The engine rules are changing in 2026 and Andretti would have had to rely on an existing manufacturer for several years. General Motors has formally registered with the FIA to provide power units but only from 2028.

Formula One said the initial “dependency” led it to believe the proposed team, who have already recruited staff and built a wind-tunnel model, would not be competitive.

It noted Andretti had not taken up an invitation to a face-to-face meeting in London last month and argued that an 11th team would place an operational burden on race promoters and add significantly to their costs.

“While the Andretti name carries some recognition for F1 fans, our research indicates that F1 would bring value to the Andretti brand rather than the other way around,” it said. — Reuters



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