Michael Andretti applies to field new F1 team with Andretti Global starting in 2024 season

Michael Andretti F1 team
James Black/Penske Entertainment
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Michael Andretti has renewed his effort to own an F1 team, submitting an application to the FIA for entry into the Formula One series.

According to Road & Track and the Associated Press’ Jenna Fryer, Andretti and his Andretti Autosport team both have confirmed a tweet Friday afternoon from Mario Andretti.

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.

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.”

Lessons learned in three rounds of Extreme E pay huge dividends in the Copper X Prix for Tanner Foust

Foust Copper X Prix
McLaren Racing
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To paraphrase the Grateful Dead, what a long, unique trip it’s been for Tanner Foust in his first season with the Extreme E series as he took his early season lessons to Chile to compete in the Copper X Prix. And he’s learned his lessons well.

In February, McLaren announced they would expand their motorsports program with an Extreme E entry. They signed two talented rally drivers in Foust and Emma Gilmour – and paired them for the opening round in Neom, Saudi Arabia with just a few days of testing under their belts. Baked by the Arabian desert sun, it was trial by fire.

The duo performed well in their debut, advancing into the final round and finishing fifth. As Extreme E headed to another desert halfway across the globe for Round 4, it was a good time to catch up with Foust and ask about McLaren’s progress. The Copper X Prix was held this past weekend in one of the most extreme regions in the world: the Atacama Desert.

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“The shock going into the first race was the speed,” Foust told NBC Sports. “It was much higher than we had tested. We spent a lot of time around 100 miles per hour [in race trim] and our testing speeds were more in the 60 to 70-mile range. Then, once we sort of got around that, the car got updated so you can drive it even faster.”

In rally racing, some incidents are out of a driver’s control. Even peeking around another car can be dangerous because of potholes that have recently been gouged in the ground or large bushes that seem to sprout up between laps. A couple of rollovers brought Foust back to earth – but the pace was there and that was important.

“We had some challenges this season,” Foust said prior to the Copper X Prix. “We had a good start; made the final, which is a difficult thing to do in this series. I had two rolls in the first three events, but I have improved each time. Now we come into Round 4 in Chile in a pretty strong position. We have competitive times as a team. We are communicating really well and have our heads around this Odyssey vehicle.”

Foust’s words proved to be prophetic.

He won the Crazy Race – Extreme E’s version of a Last Chance Qualifier – and did so after passing the field. It was the same manner in which he qualified for Saudi Arabia’s finale, but this time things would be better. There were those hard-earned lessons on which to lean – and Foust had reps under his belt. He was not going to be caught off guard by any random obstacles.

Tanner Foust passed Sebastien Loeb heading to the Switch Zone in the Copper X Prix. (Photo by Sam Bagnall / LAT Images)

In the Copper X Prix finale, he pressured one of the best rally drivers in the history of the sport.

Pitching sideways through a tight left-hander late in his stint, Foust put his McLaren Extreme E Odyssey at the head of the pack in front of Sebastien Loeb as they headed to the Switch Zone. There, he would turn the car over to his co-driver Gilmour.

The Extreme E series pairs male and female drivers with both taking a turn behind the wheel.

After the driver change, Gilmour lost the lead momentarily to Loeb’s teammate Cristina Gutierrez, but as they charged toward the finish line, she surged ahead and crossed under the checkers first.

“What an improvement for the team over this year,” Foust said after the race. “We have struggled through some of the events, being in our first year in competition. We showed true pace this weekend; overtaking Sebastien Loeb was a highlight.

“Emma put in a great run in the Final. I was fortunate to go from last to first in the Crazy Race and then first in the Final but with some flag penalties, we had 20 seconds added to our time, which put us into fifth. It was a great feeling crossing the line first, I love this wide style track and the NEOM McLaren Odyssey was fantastic here.

“Hopefully we can continue that momentum into Uruguay.”

Loeb and Gutierrez were elevated to the top of the podium, but no one can take away the feeling of crossing under the checkers first.


Racing Responsibly

Since cars were first invented, racing has played a socially responsible role by improving safety. As Earth reaches a tipping point with climate change, racing needs to adapt to these new needs and requirements, which is where Extreme E’s unique strategy becomes increasingly important.

The Extreme E experience is more than simple racing. Each race is accompanied by a legacy program designed to offset damage done by climate change and to erase the footprint caused by the events.

Foust, a biology major from the University of Colorado, was given the chance to rekindle his interest and give back to the environment ahead of the Copper X Prix.

The Atacama is the oldest desert in the world at 150 million years. It is the driest place on earth and has the highest degree of ultraviolet light. And yet somehow life perseveres through underground rivers with oases dating back to Incan times. Foust participated in preparing a local habitat for the reintroduction of a critically endangered water frog to Chile’s longest river, the Loa, which snakes its way through the desert.

“I’m loving the experience,” Foust said. “I’m putting on a lot of Chapstick, a lot of sunscreen. What a fascinating part of the world. I never would have come here otherwise.

“I honestly am very honored to be a part of this sport. I am a huge believer in the fact that motorsports has done us good in the last 100 years. I think we benefit every single time we put our seatbelts on and drive down the road to the lessons learned in racing since the turn of the century. And I really hope motorsports continues that tradition.

“I think that motorsports like [Extreme E] does it in a responsible way, a gender-neutral way and a carbon-neutral way.”