Sports governing body down News that Michael Andretti is still working on forming the Formula One team. Later last year, it was revealed that the former McLaren driver – who is currently one of the key players in American Indycar and the broader motorsports scene – was preparing to buy the Sauber-Alfa Romeo team. Here’s all he told me about that deal:
“It finally became a job we had to quit, and it just didn’t work for us.”
Rumor has it that the deal failed not because Andretti Autosport didn’t have the money, but because Sauber’s owners insisted on retaining control.
Now Andretti’s famous father, 59-year-old American Mario – the 1978 Formula One World Champion – has revealed that Andretti Global has now set out to launch its new Formula 1 team. He also told the Indianapolis Star after announcing on Twitter that the goal is Andretti Global debuts in 2024:
“Everything is ready. Michael has taken a different direction as no team is buying him. They are moving forward with their eyes wide open and meeting all the prerequisites.”
The biggest obstacle to Andretti’s bid will likely be the $200 million “anti-dilution” tariff. This is to compensate the existing 10 teams for their reduced share of annual dividends. The Mario is 81 years old However he knows Andretti is now waiting for the FIA’s decision:
“It’s totally serious and well-intentioned, but it’s all in the hands of the FIA and Formula One teams to accept that. It’s not just a fad or a booty thing. It’s really happening. He’s teamed up with the right people to support him and he’s doing well.”
The F1 project is likely to be built around pilot Andretti Colton Herta. The cars will be designed and built in Indianapolis and the team will operate in the UK.
However, Mario Andretti acknowledged that the current teams would not be eager to compete for their revenue and their brand, although the FIA is keeping the hype in check for now. One of their spokespersons said succinctly:
“Currently, the FIA is not in a position to review or comment on expressions of interest or requests from potential newcomer teams related to the FIA World Formula One World Championship.”