The biggest news to come out of the Formula 1 world all season dropped yesterday. The FIA, the governing body for Formula 1, just approved the application submitted by Andretti Formula Racing LLC to become the series’ 11th team.
The vaunted Andretti name is one step closer to the F1 grid. According to the FIA, the team will now “progress to the next stage,” which includes commercial discussions with Formula One Management (FOM).
The deal may not be done, but this news is big. The Andretti team, which is captained by retired racer and motorsport magnate Michael Andretti, was the only candidate to gain approval by the FIA in 2023, out of the four teams that made it to the formal application process. It is not as easy as just submitting a sheaf of paperwork: Teams have to prove they have the cash – the entry fee alone is $200 million – to join the F1 grid as well as share how they plan to have a positive societal impact by “manag[ing] the sustainability challenge.” Along with the rest of the F1 grid, any hopeful must prove that it “plans to achieve a net-zero CO2 impact by 2030.”
Back in January, we sat down with Michael Andretti. The second-gen racer, whose father, Mario, won an F1 world championship in 1978, pointed to 2025 as the target year. While his team’s driver roster has yet to be announced, Colton Herta’s name was mentioned, and it was made public that Cadillac and General Motors were partnering with Andretti Formula Racing LLC to gain grid access. In what capacity the two companies will participate in Andretti’s F1 bid is yet to be determined.
FOM holds the next hoop. F1 popularity is sky-high right now and, one guesses, is making money hand over fist. The teams on the grid all share in the revenue (advertising, TV contracts, etc.), and an extra team means a smaller percentage for the initial 10. Anyone joining must bring enough value to grow the pot to feed 11. The Andretti name? In our minds, the value of that name doesn’t get much more obvious.