Four months after gaining approval from the FIA, Andretti’s F1 team faced disappointment as their bid was turned down by Formula 1 in a comprehensive statement released on Wednesday.
Contrary to expectations centered around commercial aspects, F1 provided various reasons for rejecting the entry. A key argument presented by F1 was the belief that the team had taken on too much by planning a 2025 entry with a car designed under the current regulations, only to face the challenge of designing another for the drastically different rules set to come into effect in 2026.
F1 expressed skepticism, stating, “we do not believe there is a basis for any new applicant to be admitted in 2025 given that this would involve a novice entrant building two completely different cars in its first two years of existence.
The fact that the applicant proposes to do so gives us reason to question their understanding of the scope of the challenge involved.”
Despite Andretti’s previous indication of readiness for a 2025 entry, the team confirmed on Friday that it had internally shifted its focus to a 2026 debut due to the extended entry process, countering one of F1’s main arguments.
Andretti Cadillac clarified, stating, “When Andretti Cadillac entered the FIA expression of interest process almost a year ago, the preferred first year of participation was indicated as 2025.
The FIA approved our application, with no specific limitation on whether the entry was for 2025 or 2026. Andretti Cadillac has been operating with 2026 as the year of entry for many months now. The technicality of 2025 still being part of the application is a result of the length of this process.”
In response to F1’s claim of extending an invitation for an in-person meeting, Andretti Cadillac expressed surprise, revealing that the offer had been found in the spam folder of Michael Andretti, the team’s CEO.
The team emphasized its willingness to engage with F1, stating, “An in-person meeting to discuss commercial matters would be and remains of paramount importance to Andretti Cadillac. We welcome the opportunity to meet with Formula One Management and have written to them confirming our interest.”
The team reiterated its commitment in its initial response, stating, “Our work continues at pace.”