The FIA has formally confirmed it has approved a bid from Andretti Formula Racing to enter a team in the Formula 1 world championship.
FOM swiftly issued a brief statement in response to the FIA’s announcement of Andretti’s approval. “We note the FIA’s conclusions in relation to the first and second phases of their process and will now conduct our own assessment of the merits of the remaining application,” it said.
The FIA’s announcement concludes the application process it began in February. It said “numerous enquiries” were made in response to its initial call for expressions of interest, following which four progressed to the second phase of examination.
Andretti’s rivals included Formula Equal, backed by former F1 team principal Craig Pollock, Formula 2 team Hitech GP, which attracted funding from a Kazakhstani billionaire, and Asian entrant LKY SUNZ. All are believed to have been unsuccessful.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said the governing body had conducted a “stringent” procedure for examining new entrants. It was “acting in accordance with EU directives on motor sport participation and development” by opening the door for the F1 grid to expand to 22 cars for the first time since 2016.
“Andretti Formula Racing LLC was the only entity which fulfils the selection criteria that was set in all material respects,” Ben Sulayem continued. “I congratulate Michael Andretti and his team on a thorough submission. I also want to thank all prospective teams for their interest and participation.”
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The Andretti Global group behind the bid is run by Michael Andretti, an IndyCar champion, former Formula 1 driver and son of world champion Mario Andretti. His team is active across many competitions including IndyCar, Formula E, Extreme E and others.
Andretti has made several previous attempts to gain a place on the F1 grid. He was among the unsuccessful bidders for the assets of Force India when they were purchased by Lawrence Stroll’s consortium in 2018. He subsequently made an attempt to buy into the Sauber team, which is branded by Alfa Romeo.
In a statement Andretti Global said it was “honoured” that the FIA had approved its bid to enter an F1 team.
“We appreciate the FIA’s rigorous, transparent and complete evaluation process and are incredibly excited to be given the opportunity to compete in such a historic and prestigious championship.
“The formation of this distinctly American team is an important moment of pride for all our employees and fans. We feel strongly that Andretti Cadillac’s deep racing competencies and the technological advancements that come from racing will benefit our customers while heightening enthusiasm for F1, globally.
“We look forward to engaging with all of the stakeholders in Formula One as we continue our planning to join the grid as soon as possible.”
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FIA statement: Andretti F1 bid approved
FIA approves Andretti Formula Racing application after rigorous analysis
Assessment of each application was based on sporting, technical and financial analysis
Review process included sustainability and positive societal impact criteria
FIA concluded that Andretti Formula Racing LLC will proceed to the next stage of the application process to enter Formula 1 from a list of four final applicants in Phase 2
Following the conclusion of a comprehensive application process for prospective teams seeking to participate at a competitive level in the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile has concluded that the application by Andretti Formula Racing LLC should progress to the next stage.
Andretti Formula Racing LLC was the only candidate to meet the stringent criteria that was set by the FIA in all material respects from the four teams which lodged formal applications in Phase 2 of the process. The initial call for Expressions of Interest (Phase 1) attracted numerous enquiries which resulted in four progressing to Phase 2.
The FIA has officially informed all applicant teams of their findings after a thorough appraisal.
Following the call for Expressions Of Interest in February, the FIA has applied a robust process of due diligence during which the applicants were assessed on the sporting and technical ability, the ability of the team to raise and maintain sufficient funding to allow participation in the Championship at a competitive level and the team’s experience and human resources.
Selection criteria also included sustainability management in line with the FIA’s ambition of achieving the sport’s goals for net-zero by 2030. Any prospective F1 team was also required to illustrate how they intend to achieve a positive societal impact through its participation in the sport.
As part of the agreed process of the Expressions Of Interest protocol, the FIA findings on Andretti Formula Racing LLC’s submission will now be passed to Formula One Management (FOM) for commercial discussions.
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “The FIA was very clear in establishing stringent criteria for entry from the outset of the Expressions of Interest procedure. Our objective, after rigorous due diligence during the application phase, was to only approve prospective entries which satisfied the set criteria and illustrated that they would add value to the sport.
“The FIA is obliged to approve applications that comply with the Expressions of Interests application requirements and we have adhered to that procedure in deciding that Andretti Formula Racing LLC’s application would proceed to the next stage of the application process. In taking that decision, the FIA is acting in accordance with EU directives on motor sport participation and development.
“Andretti Formula Racing LLC was the only entity which fulfils the selection criteria that was set in all material respects. I congratulate Michael Andretti and his team on a thorough submission. I also want to thank all prospective teams for their interest and participation.
“The Expressions of Interest process builds on the positive acceptance of the FIA’s 2026 F1 Power Unit Regulations among existing OEMs which has also attracted further commitment from Audi, Honda and Ford and interest from Porsche and General Motors.
“I would like to thank all of the FIA team members involved in the Expressions of Interest process for their tireless efforts in ensuring a diligent assessment of all of the applications received.”
Editors’ notes – Expressions of Interest process
In February 2023, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile announced the official launch of an application process to identify prospective teams seeking to participate at a competitive level in the FIA Formula One World Championship.
All applicants underwent thorough due diligence. The assessment of each application covered in particular the sporting and technical capabilities and resources of the applicant team, the ability of the team to raise and maintain sufficient funding to allow participation in the Championship at a competitive level and the team’s relevant experience and human resources.
Applications were also judged on their ability to meet sustainability criteria and deliver positive societal impact in line with the FIA’s approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
The overall long-term interests of the Championship, involving all stakeholders, determined which candidates were selected together with the applicable regulations and governance arrangements.
The terms of the formal application process (together with the complete selection criteria, applicable deadlines, legal requirements and other conditions) were communicated to candidates that submitted a preliminary Expression of Interest to the FIA.
Phase 1: Call for Expressions of Interest
Phase 2: Application, evaluation and approval process
Phase 3: Successful applicant referred to FOM for commercial discussions
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