New setback for Andretti: F2 and F3 not keen on new team


New setback for Andretti: F2 and F3 need not include them
2 May at 14:15
Last update 2 May at 14:38
  • Ludo van Denderen

Team owner Michael Andretti was told by Formula One Management at the beginning of the year that an entry of Andretti Cadillac into Formula 1 is not on the cards, much to his regret. The American is not sitting on his hands: he continues to work tirelessly to realise his dream. It now goes beyond F1 alone; Andretti also want to be active in Formula 2 and Formula 3. He can by no means expect an easy process either, according to the words of Bruno Michel - the boss of the two step-up classes - on Thursday.

The CEO of Formula 2 and Formula 3 stated - to a question from GPBlog - that there has not yet been any contact between his series and Andretti. "Hopefully that will happen soon," reported the Frenchman, who said he has read about the US team's plans in media reports. But the red carpet is not being rolled out for now. "If Andretti wants to join F2 and F3, they have to go through the same process as everybody else because that's the way it works," he said.

"We have a selection process every three years in both categories. The one in F2 happened last year, at the end of 2023. So, the next one will be in three years' time. For F3, the selection process is going to be this year. So, if they want to join, they of course have to go through the process. Now, I don't know how it works in their strategy because they're also discussing the F1 possibility at the same time. So, for me, it's something that is in the air. It's not really concrete at the moment," Michel said.

F2 and F3 do not want to expand

An easier route to get into F2 and F3 seems to be taking over a current team. "I think it's completely out of the question to increase the number of cars, 30 cars is already a lot. And that's a very good number. But we always have to think that we need to find the proper number of drivers for the teams as well and the teams have to be able to find the drivers, which is not so easy in situations with 30 drivers. So for Formula 3 there will not be additional cars."

"For Formula 2, the question has always been open because we used to be 26 cars in GP2, and then we went down to 20, and then we went up to 22. I'm quite happy with the figures we have at the moment for several reasons. It has to be valuable for the teams, finding 22 drivers with proper budgets is never an easy task."

'Not enough progression opportunities to F1'

Moreover, Michel wonders what is the point of having so many spots in F2 if there are hardly any growth opportunities to Formula 1. "We need to look at how many seats will be available in Formula 1 as well because at the end of the day some drivers won't be able to go up and it might be a little bit too difficult. At the moment I'm not so inclined to increase the number of teams. Andretti can try to do a team with an existing team, or they can apply, and if they apply, there's always a possibility that one team will not continue or one team will not have done a proper job, and then in that case, they will have a chance to come in."

It is clear from Michel's words that Andretti should not count on preferential treatment in F2 and F3. "It's a question of fairness to the teams. Most of the teams have been with Formula 2 for many years now. There have been a few changes in the teams over the last two seasons. F2 and F3 is a very interesting business for team owners. But I have to be fair to the existing teams. So, of course, Andretti is a good name. Of course, Andretti, in the case of a general programme for motor racing, is interesting. We don't have an American team in F2. So it ticks a lot of boxes. But then, yes, it would have to go through the same process as everybody else. Because it would be unfair to the existing teams otherwise," Michel said.