Michael Andretti is making a fresh attempt to join Formula 1 by bidding to enter a new team, according to his father, 1978 world champion Mario Andretti.in a social media post on Friday. “His entry, Andretti Global, has the resources and checks every box. He is awaiting the FIA’s determination.”
Michael Andretti came close to agreeing a deal to take over Sauber, which runs Alfa Romeo’s Formula 1 team, in October last year. The parties came close to an agreement, but according to the IndyCar team boss “at the 11th hour control issues changed and it was a deal we had to step away from because we couldn’t accept it.”
Andretti previously lodged a bid to take over the Force India team when its assets were sold in 2018, and eventually purchased by Lawrence Stroll, who later rebranded it as Aston Martin.
His father’s post indicates he is now seeking to join the grid by forming a new team rather than buying an existing one. That would add an 11th entry to the field, increasing the number of cars to 22.
Starting a team from scratch would be an expensive move. Besides acquiring the necessary facilities and securing an engine deal, new entrants are required to pay a $200 million (£147m) “anti-dilution fee”.
However F1’s American owners Liberty Media are keen to continue the sport’s growth in the USA and are likely to respond favourably to interest from a successful US-based team owner. F1’s most recent wholly new entrant, Haas, which arrived in 2016, is also American.
Andretti indicated that, had his attempt to buy Sauber succeeded, he would have sought to place his IndyCar driver Colton Herta in the series. Former F1 drivers Romain Grosjean and Alexander Rossi also drive for him, along with rookie Devlin Defrancesco.
As well as running four full-time cars in the IndyCar series, Andretti Autosport also competes in Formula E, Extreme E, Indy Lights and other championships.
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