Why Formula 1 is making a fool of itself with Andretti's rejection


Why Formula 1 is making a fool of itself with Andretti's rejection
1 February at 07:30
  • Ludo van Denderen

It was not a huge (negative) surprise. Yet Formula One's decision not to allow Andretti Global onto the grid undoubtedly hit the ambitious team hard. Andretti Global is a victim of unprecedented greed by Formula One Management, Liberty Media and the ten existing teams. With the rejection, they show - not for the first time - that they have absolutely no regard for the fans' wishes but look purely to their own pockets.

It really says: "An 11th team would not, in and of itself, provide value to the Championship." A greater insult can hardly be imagined for an iconic racing team that is or has been highly successful in every class in which they compete. Just last weekend, Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti drove to third place in the 24 Hours of Daytona in the prestigious IMSA championship. A day earlier, reigning world champion Jake Dennis helped Andretti Global to victory in the Formula E race in Saudi Arabia. A driver with Andretti became IndyCar champion four times. The team won the Indy 500 six times.

And this team would not add value to Formula 1? Like, say, Haas or Visa Cash App RB did add value in recent years?

Revenge on the FIA

From the FIA, Andretti already had a licence in his pocket to be admitted to Formula 1. But the FOM would have to make the ultimate decision on the Americans' entry. At the time, the umbrella body was quite irritated that the FIA had opened the book.

In recent years, Formula 1 has made a huge leap in popularity. Wherever the event goes, the grandstands are packed, and a worldwide audience sees millions of viewers watching on television. This is thanks to the efforts of FOM, Liberty Media and the teams. That Michael Andretti might now want to capitalise on F1's current success, however, is a misconception. For many years, the American had wanted his own team in the top class of motorsport. Only now did the opportunity to do so present itself. And in front of him, the door was slammed shut, even though he has the financial means and the ambition.

Formula 1 won't share

According to Formula 1, three pages were needed to explain the rejection, but the story can be summed up very briefly: The teams do not want to share the ever-growing pot of gold. That the fans - and certainly the American ones - would love it if a new team entered the fray has been conveniently forgotten. Moreover, consider the two extra drivers who could get a seat in what is now a very closed driver market. Talents hardly get a chance anymore, even if they deserve the chance.

Andretti may try again in a few years if their intended engine partner, General Motors (with the Cadillac brand), want to make an entrance as a supplier. With GM involved, Andretti could suddenly add value, the statement reads. Again, there is a slight semblance of thinking mainly out of self-interest. After all, no doubt teams are hoping Andretti will collapse after a short time, and they can become GM's exclusive partner.

It is hoped that Andretti Global and General Motors do not give up. The ultimate revenge will ultimately be if the two brands still enter Formula 1 in 2028 and perform well.