Michael Andretti

Andretti to begin testing 2023-spec F1 car in preparation for 2025 entry

Formula 1

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Andretti Racing CEO Michael Andretti says that his organisation are set to put a 2023-spec F1 car in a wind tunnel as they wait for approval from F1.

The FIA formally approved Andretti’s entry to join Formula 1 as its 11th team earlier this month. However, Andretti must be approved by Formula 1 before its place on the grid will be confirmed.

Andretti said he was “very, very excited” about the prospect of joining the F1 grid. “Thank you to the FIA and the president of the FIA for putting the expressions of interest out there,” he told Sky.

“It was very vigorous, it was a very tough thing to go through for our team and I’m proud to say we came out on top in every category and we’re very proud of that. I think it definitely shows that we have the right to be here on the grid and we’re excited about that.

“We’re also really excited about the fan support – the fan support has been overwhelming and I want to thank everybody out there for all your support because that means a lot. We are very excited about the future. We think we have something really to offer to Formula 1 fans.”

Despite not having final confirmation of their entry, Andretti said preparations are already well underway within the organisation. They intend to enter in the final season of the current rules cycle, before F1 overhauls its technical regulations in 2026.

“At the moment we’re still shooting for ’25,” Andretti explained. “Our car is actually going to be in a wind tunnel next week – we have a car already built up in ’23 spec. So we’re flat-out, we’re building a team. At the moment it’s ’25, could be ’26, but we’ll see.”

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Andretti’s father, 1978 world champion Mario Andretti, said he was eager to return to the Formula 1 paddock with a team baring his own famous surname.

“At the beginning of my life, I was dreaming to be in Formula 1, to be a driver – that was really what I cared about,” he said. “And I think luckily, fortunately, I accomplished more than I could have even hoped.

“Now I’m looking to spend the rest of my life, alongside of [Michael], so we can come to the track, we’ll have our own hospitality and I don’t have to wait for somebody to invite me in,” he joked.

Andretti Global already competes in Formula E, sports car racing, Extreme E and other categories.

“I’m so proud of Michael, actually, for his ambition to be in all the major disciplines,” he continued. “And that’s it – that’s how we make a living. This has been it. I’ve been feeding my family through motor racing from day one. This is our life, so we want to be at the pinnacle. Formula 1 is the Olympics of motorsports, so that’s where we want to be.”

However, Andretti’s bid to join F1 as its 11th team has been met with near-universal disapproval by team principals of the current ten competitors due to concerns their addition to the grid would dilute the financial pool for the current competitors. Michael Andretti says he struggles to sympathise with the concerns of the existing teams.

“It’s a mystery to me in some ways, why they’re pushing back,” he said. “They say we’re ‘slicing the pie’, but I think the point is hopefully we bring in more than what we’re taking away and we really believe that.

“I think if you look at the fan support on all the surveys that have been done and things, we think that we’re going to add to it, not take away.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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11 comments on “Andretti to begin testing 2023-spec F1 car in preparation for 2025 entry”

  1. He does seem very keen. Perhaps I should be more positive about him

    1. @zann I think that some of his statements have come across as keen, whilst some of his other statements have come across as perhaps overly optimistic.

      We’ve had Michael saying “We want to be in all forms of auto racing, from Le Mans to Monaco to the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500.”, and to that end he has also announced plans to found Formula 2 and Formula 3 teams, with the intention of creating his own junior racing team, alongside entering the WEC and the American sportscar championship. It’s also a fairly open secret that he’s looking at ways to enter NASCAR at the same time – raising the question of whether Michael is running the risk of overextending his team by trying to enter too many series simultaneously.

      Some have also questioned whether it was wise to talk about his ambitions to become “one of the top teams” and to say that “Our end goal is to be competing for the World Championship five or six years down the road.”. Those sorts of statements might raise a few red flags, given that quite a few have entered the sport with ambitious plans to become a major player in the sport, only to find that it’s a lot harder to get there than they first thought.

      1. yes, i see what you mean. Tho I suppose with General Motors being in it they can’t be like Haas, he has to be talking big or they wouldn’t be interested, otherwise if Cadillac comes last or nearly last it might be worse for their brand instead of better.

  2. Interesting. Since they are not actually in F1 they can do whatever they want with CFD and a wind tunnel, including running full scale with no tunnel velocity or run time limits.

  3. As a fan, looking from the outside in, I get that of course the existing teams don’t want the pie to be sliced into another piece but like Michael said, they feel they can bring more to the sport than what they are taking and if they can prove that to be true then I see no reason why any team especially with the backing of one of the biggest car makers in the world shouldn’t be allowed to be on the grid.

  4. They already have a 2023 car? Designed AND built? Mmm…

    1. @fer-no65 It’s likely a very basic & unrefined 50% or smaller scale model been run simply in order to allow them to start getting some very basic baseline data in part in order to help with system calibration.

      1. Maybe, maybe not. Andretti didn’t say WHICH wind tunnel he was planning on putting the car in– And the US does have a full-scale, rolling road wind tunnel (although it’s owned by Gene Haas, so maybe Andretti wouldn’t be welcome to use it).

        There’s a question– could an engineer from Haas sit in on the Andretti testing, as long as they took no notes or pictures?

        1. grat, it has been reported in Autosport that the Andretti’s intend to use the Toyota Motorsport Group wind tunnel in Cologne.

          Although it has been left out of this article, as they have focussed mainly on the development plans, Michael is also quoted as insisting in that same interview that he still wants Herta to drive one of the cars, even though he acknowledged that Herta doesn’t yet meet the requirement for a superlicence.

    2. @fer-no65 as noted by GT Racer, the more likely scenario is that it is actually a relatively simple model that is being used for calibration and initial data collection. It might therefore sound impressive to have a wind tunnel model ready, but the reality is likely to be less impressive than you think.

      To put things into perspective, Dieter Rencken published a claim back in March that the Hitech project, known as H26, had already commenced wind tunnel testing with a 50% scale model built to the 2023 regulations as part of their own data calibration exercises. https://racingnews365.com/plans-for-new-british-based-f1-team-revealed

      In that context, whilst undertaking those preliminary calibration runs might be a positive step for the Andretti’s, it’s perhaps not quite so impressive if Hitech were already conducting similar work at least six months earlier than the Andretti’s are.

    3. As far we know they still don’t actually have an engine for that car right?

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