Michael Andretti has renewed his effort to own an F1 team, submitting an application to the FIA for entry into the Formula One series.
In the social media post revealing his son’s plans, Mario Andretti wrote: “Michael has applied to the FIA to field a new F1 team starting in 2024. His entry, Andretti Global, has the resources and checks every box. He is awaiting the FIA’s determination.”
In a Friday interview with the Indianapolis Star, Mario Andretti said the proposed team would be based in England with a shop in Indianapolis. Andretti told the Star that an engine deal has been secured, and Andretti Global would be “ready to go the next day” if approved by the FIA.
Michael Andretti attempted to buy a majority stake in the Alfa Romeo team, but the deal fell apart last October. Andretti, who drove for McLaren during the 1993 F1 season, had said he still wanted to be involved as an F1 team owner, which would broaden a racing empire that fields cars in several series such as IndyCar, IMSA and Extreme E.
Andretti Autosport now confirms the report by Mario Andretti that Michael Andretti has filed paperwork with the FIA to field a new #F1 team under Andretti Global in 2024.
Andretti Autosport says it has no further comment. https://t.co/GOhTpDoKfR
— Jenna Fryer (@JennaFryer) February 18, 2022
The most recent team to enter F1 was in 2016 with Haas F1, which is owned by American businessman Gene Haas. Fueled by a popularity boom often attributed to Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” series, F1 is expanding to two annual U.S. races next season in Miami and Austin (which announced a five-year extension Friday) and is exploring a third.
Andretti said last year about his potential F1 foray that he had planned for IndyCar star Colton Herta, 21, to “lead the way” as one of its drivers because “he’d be the perfect guy to do it. We definitely were going to try to get him into the seat because I believe he could be a competitive driver in Europe. I really do.”
Herta said last month that while Andretti’s dalliance with F1 was appealing, he would remain happy in the NTT IndyCar Series, which will begin its 2022 season Feb. 27 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Herta suggested he still had time to race F1 and then return to IndyCar.
“If you’re 28, you’re not going to Formula 1, unfortunately,” he said. “That’s just how it works. The time is right for me if I got the opportunity. I’d have to have a good think about it, but I most likely would do it because I want to run in Formula 1 at some point. I think people forget that I’m 21 years old and (can) come back in five years and still run 15 years in IndyCar and be 40.
“Yeah, I definitely want to give it a crack if I get the opportunity. But definitely not disappointed at all in IndyCar. I like this series more than any series in the world, and I enjoy racing in it a lot.”
Before excelling in Indy Lights in 2017-18 and becoming the youngest IndyCar winner in history as a 2019 rookie, Herta raced in Europe for two years.
Mario Andretti, the last American to win an F1 race and championship in 1978, said during a 2019 episode of “Coffee With Kyle” that he considers Herta the best U.S. prospect for F1 stardom.
Another young candidate from IndyCar is rising star Pato O’Ward. The Arrow McLaren SP driver has been open about his F1 aspirations and said “those opportunities, you have to take them as they come.”