Andretti F1 Bid Accepted by the FIA – What’s Next?

News, Racing I By Justin Cornelison I October 02, 2023
Michael Andretti F1

Andretti Formula Racing LLC, in collaboration with General Motors and its Cadillac brand, has achieved a significant milestone in its ambitious quest to join the Formula 1 grid in 2025. The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body of Formula 1, has given the green light for the Andretti F1 bid for a new entry. However, while this is a substantial achievement, the team still has its toughest challenge ahead – gaining approval from Formula 1 itself.

Andretti F1 Cadillac

Render by Sean Bull.

The Andretti F1 bid has been a standout in the application process, as it is the only candidate among the final four applicants to meet the FIA’s “stringent criteria” and progress to the final phase. The FIA’s rigorous evaluation encompasses sporting, technical, and financial aspects, ensuring that any prospective team is well-prepared for the challenges of Formula 1.

Despite this initial success, the road ahead remains treacherous. The final phase of the application process hinges on Andretti’s ability to convince Formula 1’s commercial rights holder to drop a long-standing objection. Formula 1 has been lukewarm, if not outright resistant, to the idea of welcoming a new team onto the grid. It holds the power to refuse a commercial agreement, a decision that, while within its rights, would likely spark controversy and possibly even legal disputes.

Formula 1’s response to the FIA’s announcement of Andretti’s progress was subdued, with the sport merely acknowledging the FIA’s conclusions and emphasizing the need for its independent assessment of the remaining application. This reflects Formula 1’s cautious stance on expanding the grid and its desire to ensure any new entrant aligns with its vision and objectives.

The application process itself consists of three broad phases. The first phase involved a call for expressions of interest, which attracted numerous inquiries. From this pool, four applicants advanced to the second phase, where the FIA conducted a comprehensive due diligence process. This included assessments of sporting and technical capabilities, financial stability, and the team’s overall experience and human resources.

Andretti expressed its appreciation for the FIA’s thorough evaluation process and stated its commitment to contributing to Formula 1’s global appeal through its racing competencies and technological advancements. The team looks forward to engaging with all stakeholders in Formula 1 as it continues to plan its entry onto the grid.

Apart from Andretti, other applicants such as Hitech, LCKY SNZ, and Rodin Carlin were assessed during the second phase and have been informed of their unsuccessful bids.

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem affirmed that the entry approved by the governing body met all the set criteria and demonstrated its potential to enhance the sport. He also highlighted that the FIA’s actions align with EU directives on motorsport participation and development.

While the FIA has completed its part in the evaluation process, Formula 1’s assessment is still pending and could take several months to finalize. The outcome of this assessment will determine whether the ambitious Andretti F1 venture becomes a reality or remains a tantalizing dream. As the Formula 1 community eagerly awaits the decision, the motorsport world will be watching closely to see if Andretti can overcome its most significant challenge yet and secure a spot on the prestigious Formula 1 grid.

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