Andretti Autosport have till so far faced only rejection in their attempt to enter into Formula 1. They had been seeking to buy a stake in Sauber, and enter through them, but the deal fell through, and it’s not looking particularly amazing for them, as of now. They have not been able to gather the support needed for their entry.
While Sauber may be entering into a deal with Audi soon, Andretti are trying to enter as the 11th team on the grid. The announcement of Audi’s impending entry was well-received by fans, and even Toto Wolff thought that they are the better option, citing their status as a manufacturer.
On the WTF1 podcast, Mario Andretti had said that it will be the worst moment of his career if the bid is rejected, and his son, Michael Andretti even went as far as calling F1 a ‘European Club‘ and ‘snobbish’. Despite this, Andretti are not giving up on their bid, and are targeting to enter the grid by 2024.
Mario Andretti: ‘The reception has been disappointing’
Andretti currently race in a variety of well-known racing series, which include IndyCar and Formula E. But Formula 1, is often termed the pinnacle of motorsport, and it will be the crown jewel of Andretti’s teams. Colton Herta, who races for them in IndyCar, tried recently to enter F1 but failed to get an exemption. But he has said that he might enter along with Andretti.
In an interview with PlanetF1, Mario Andretti said that the team are still preparing and going for an F1 grid spot: “We’re working every single day on this project, with the intention to be on the grid in 2024. We’re preparing as if we were given the go-ahead. So Michael is on it, and that’s what we expect to do.”
The 1978 F1 world champion says the reaction has not been as they had hoped: “We’re certainly not giving up. It’s a very serious project for us, and we’re ready to make that investment. Honestly, [the reception] has been extremely disappointing, obviously, so far. But, at the same time, we’re just trying to come up with whatever is asked of us, we’re trying to satisfy it – I don’t know what else we can do.”
Aside from McLaren (who also race in IndyCar), no other team has really come out in support of Andretti, and Guenther Steiner even criticized Michael Andretti for his ‘European club’ comment. The Americans still have a way to go before an entry is made possible.