F1 and FIA flags, Hungaroring, 2020

FIA “engaging in dialogue” with FOM over Andretti rejection

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The FIA intends to continue discussions with Formula One Management after the latter rejected Andretti’s bid to enter the series yesterday.

The announcement by FOM came a year after the FIA first invited applications from potential new entrants to the series. In October, the FIA confirmed Andretti was the only team it had selected to enter the series as its 11th team.

However Andretti also required the approval of F1’s commercial rights holder, who spent another four months considering their application. Yesterday FOM announced it had rejected their bid.

The FIA issued a short response today acknowledging FOM’s decision. “The FIA notes the announcement from Formula One Management in relation to the FIA Formula One world championship teams’ expressions of interest process,” it said. “We are engaging in dialogue to determine next steps.”

Andretti Global already competes in Formula E, where it took Jake Dennis to last year’s championship, as well as IndyCar, Extreme E and other series. FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said last year Michael Andretti’s team has produced a “thorough submission” in support of their bid to enter F1.

However FOM has long resisted moves to expand the grid beyond its current 10 teams. In its statement yesterday FOM claimed adding an extra team “would not, in and of itself, provide value to the championship.”

It also cast doubt on Andretti’s ability to field a competitive F1 team and claimed its brand did not have sufficient recognition among F1 fans. However they indicated they might be open to allowing the team to enter in 2028, at which point their engine partner Cadillac has said they plan to produce their own power unit.

Andretti and Cadillac said yesterday they “strongly disagree” with the points made by FOM in rejecting their application.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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32 comments on “FIA “engaging in dialogue” with FOM over Andretti rejection”

  1. I’m assuming the ‘engaging in dialogue ‘ involves a rolling pin like all the good 70’s sitcoms.

    1. I was thinking more like insults, that’s a type of dialogue too.

  2. “Next steps” should involve legal action under anti-cartel laws. Might be a bit problematic for the FIA to be the ones bringing the case, though.

    1. @red-andy it might also be problematic if the rumours that the FIA are being sued by Hitech for alleged malpractice during the bidding process are true (with Hitech arguing that the FIA rigged the bidding process to ensure that only Andretti could win – with Sulayem’s subsequent comments about wanting an American team with American drivers only adding to the suggestion that the FIA was not a neutral party).
      If so, the FIA might be reluctant to bring any action against FOM if, in turn, the FIA has to reveal details about the selection process that might then strengthen Hitech’s case against the FIA.

  3. I’m sure all of this is playing out on DTS so FOM is already getting it’s “value add”.

    By running such a protectionist show, FOM thinks it’s helping keep that mythical 1bn price tag for a team intact, whereas the reality is that I doubt any organisation other than perhaps the Saudi slushy fund thing, would actually stump up that sort of cash. Even for Red Bull.

    So here we have FOM saying no to the 11th team, while we have, in my opinion, at least 3 teams that are likely to fold/quit in the not too distant future and “new” manufacturers that may or may not (I’ll believe it when they turn up to their first race).

    Makes sense like so many other things they say and do.

  4. FOM have said no and given them a roadmap for joining in 2028 – I don’t see the issue here – it is probably the better option for Andretti anyway.

    1. Nunaya Dambizness
      1st February 2024, 12:05

      You “don’t see the issue”? So you believe the FOM will EVER approve another team? That’s the thing, this “roadmap for joining” is a smokescreen. They’re just kicking the can down the road for a couple more years, until they can say NO once again. FOM is a cartel, and should face legal action to break up their cartel.

    2. Sure, why pay 200 million and earn money driving in F1 for several years when instead you can sit by the sidelines, earn nothing, and pay 800 million or more to start in 2028 instead.

      And mind you, they haven’t given an approval for 2028 under those conditions either. It’s just “you might maybe get in in 2028 under these conditions, we’ll see good luck.”

      1. I bet if they were an American team that had no chance of winning they would have approved them. F1 just wants the US market without having a real American team with a chance to beat them. Andretti should take that money and buy Indycar and push F1 out of America like they were doing before the Cart/IRL split

      2. And by 2028 the current teams will be 2 years ahead into the new regs (for both engine AND chassis development).
        And we don’t know what other hoops will be added into the new concorde agreement.

        1. And by 2028 the current teams will be 2 years ahead into the new regs (for both engine AND chassis development).

          Exactly, by then, for all we know FOM will tell them “oh, it’s a shame you did not join earlier, because by now you would be woefully on the backfoot with both car and engine development, so we cannot take your entry serious”

          1. And Andretti will be less valuable to GM as well.

            There’s a reason why Honda, Audi, Ford, and Porsche wanted to partner with existing teams.
            Those teams have established platforms, facilities, factories, external contracts, supply lines, and (most importantly) data.

            If GM were to partner with Andretti for a 2028 entry, they’d be joining a new team that’s yet to find its footing.

          2. Sure that matters, but perhaps those parties also didn’t care, or weren’t able to secure funding, to run their own operation. Supplying either only electric motors, or even an entire PU, is still a much cheaper operation than building a team from the ground up.

        2. And by 2028 the current teams will be 2 years ahead into the new regs (for both engine AND chassis development).

          Well, from the reveals in various articles, it would seem Cadillac had no intention of having an engine in an F1 car before 2028 anyway.
          On that basis, what exactly does the FOM announcement change?
          Yep, we miss out on a new team circulating at the back end as a (maybe) Renault customer team.

          1. Sorry. I was aware of that. I was refering to Andretti starting the new chassis regs at the same time as existing teams, and having a platform ready for GM’s arrival.
            Instead of fighting to establish themselves on two fronts at the same time.

          2. Sorry. I was aware of that. I was refering to Andretti starting the new chassis regs at the same time as existing teams, and having a platform ready for GM’s arrival.

            They seem to have forgotten to tell anyone they had dropped the intention of starting in 2025.

            Additionally, had you noted the info put out by Andretti includes the detail that:

            Prior to the verdict, Andretti Technical Director Nick Chester had revealed it was pressing ahead with its F1 plans in the background, including testing a full-scale chassis model in a wind tunnel this year.

            Should someone perhaps remind them that testing is only allowed on a maximum 60% scale model, or did that detail end up in Andretti’s spam bin too?

  5. I just think FOM is a joke! They allow Red Bull to own 2 teams with all the potential to share technology and knowledge, but won’t allow a credible 11th team to join??? Well maybe FOM should consider Andretti purchasing the 2nd RB team instead? More variety in the teams, management styles and approach…

    1. The rules don’t allow them to share knowledge… The rules are clear on this.

      They share technology in the same way other teams do too.

      You have been fooled in to making this a bigger issue than it is.

    2. Visa Cash App RB 1000 Mastercard Platinum Express
      1st February 2024, 20:37

      Red Bull’s second team, “Visa Cash App”, has a historic name recognised by Netflix subscribers and Drive-to-Survive viewers all over the world.

      Who’s heard of Andretti? Apart from those boring ‘motorsport’ fans who keep banging on about DRS and overtaking and other things unknown to FOM management.

  6. FIA has quite the challenge ahead I would say with an ever more revenue driven commercial rights owner. When are we crossing the line when there are no ‘Sports’ elements left and all becomes ‘Entertainment’? And what does that mean? Is the FIA interested in being a regulatory body for entertainment shows that happen to also have cars appearing in it? It basically moved away from them through the years. Question is whether they can stop it and how such process would look like from a legal perspective.

  7. It is pointless engaging in dialogue when you have a senior FOM employee that will act in self-interest rather than in the interest of the business…

    When a senior employee has shares within a competitor of the series (through marriage), they will not be impartial.

    1. The FOM is just pushing the date back in hopes that Andretti runs out of money and then they don’t have to say no. Simple as that. Full on boycott of F1 in North America will fix this in a hurry.

    2. When a senior employee has shares within a competitor of the series (through marriage), they will not be impartial.

      There’s a line between petulant comment and libel, please don’t cross it.

  8. The rules of the FIA F1 championship clearly state there is room for 13 teams. Everything less than that is under capacity, and in some sense, a failure to deliver the product broadcasters and attendees pay for. And they pay a lot.

    Now, the engine situation is complex, especially for 2026. But there are rules for that too, and those rules ought to apply to every team; there is nothing in the rules that allows manufacturers to make exceptions for new entries.

    Also, this whole situation is just begging for an antitrust lawsuit.

    1. “The rules of the FIA F1 championship clearly state there is room for 13 teams.”

      The infrastructure isn’t (100%) there for 13 teams. Eg: Interlagos only has 23 garages (11.5 teams). There is room for possibly one more garage with substantial renovations. More would require extensive renovations and probable track changes.

      1. Interlagos only has 23 garages (11.5 teams).

        Interlagos uses substantially wider garages than is typical – such that teams can easily fit both cars (each individually numbered garage is double-width, just with a single door).
        All series that compete at this circuit do exactly that, and there’s nothing so special about F1 that they can’t either.
        After all, they make do quite happily in Monaco’s tiny pit lane, don’t they….
        A better example would be Zandvoort, which has only 28 single-width garages – teams do actually need one of those for each car, with the remaining ones being reserved for the FIA .

        The FIA states that F1 is set up to handle 13 teams because it actually is. No FIA Grade 1 circuit can not be suitable for 13 teams, as it forms part of the compliance requirements for circuits to be awarded that rating. Grade 1 only exists for F1 – literally nothing else requires it.

      2. Interlagos will host a WEC race this year with 37 cars. I’m sure F1 can manage if they try.

        And if it really doesn’t work, then those tracks shouldn’t be on the calendar in years with 13 teams on the entry list.

  9. At some point the FIA needs to use the nuclear option against FOM

  10. I find it odd how many people actually care about this. Another team just means 2 more slow cars for RB and Mercedes, Ferrari to lap. Qualifying is already too jammed and adding more cars will make it worse on a lot of circuits. FIA and FOM need to figure out how to make the current 20 car field more competitive. Maybe HaaS should be demoted to Andretti should partner with them or another current team. Also FOM is not anti American. 3 Races in America and an American team on the grid. Ford now partnering with RB. Adding more teams will not make the product better and I believe FOM knows this and this is why they said no. In addition to not wanting to split money among another team that will do nothing to increase the value of the product

  11. Mario Andretti is without a dought the greatist race driver in history and yet the European boys club ie f1 will not acknowledge this name or caddilac shame on them for taking the bid money hypocracy at its highest level formula one will never grow with horner and Wolff at the wheel

  12. I honestly can’t believe that the FOM uses “competitiveness” as a metric for a new team. There’s already 4 teams that are completely uncompetitive on the grid and three others that exist only in the middle of the pack unless catastrophe strikes a race.

  13. Luther McKeehan
    3rd February 2024, 11:16

    IMHO, As a 63 year fan (now 70) F1 has treated American Drivers & teams for the entire modern era. The insulting rejection has finished F1 for me. I’m joining the F1 Boycott and really spreading the word. No more money to the Europeans. Support American racing.

Comments are closed.