Michael Andretti has applied to launch a new Formula 1 team starting from 2024, his father Mario Andretti broke the news on Twitter, on Friday, and a day later it was confirmed that they have submitted papers to the FIA for a 2024 entry.
The younger Andretti, a former IndyCar champion and grand prix racer turned team owner, had been in takeover talks with Sauber, who run the Alfa Romeo team but said in November last year that “control issues” led to a collapse of negotiations.
Before the weekend, Mario Andretti, the 1978 F1 world champion, wrote on Twitter: “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.”
The filing to the FIA, the governing body of F1, was revealed Friday on Twitter by Andretti’s father, Mario. The 1978 F1 champion wrote “Andretti Global has the resources and checks every box. He is awaiting the FIA’s determination.”
Andretti tried to purchase Sauber (aka Alfa Romeo) but the bid failed at the last minute
Initially, Andretti Autosport declined to comment on Mario Andretti’s post. The team then reversed its position and confirmed an application had been submitted to the FIA. No further details were revealed.
Racing legend Andretti senior has openly backed his son’s efforts to expand the racing organization and enter the top motorsports series in the world. Michael Andretti drove one season in F1 in 1993.
Mario Andretti is second on IndyCar’s career wins list, and Michael Andretti is fourth. Michael Andretti currently owns teams competing in IndyCar, IMSA, Formula E and Extreme E. The IndyCar season opens next weekend.
Michael Andretti tried last year to purchase the existing Alfa Romeo team and bring American driver Colton Herta to F1. But the deal fell apart in a disagreement over what Andretti called “control issues.” The application for a team filed directly to the FIA could speed up his attempts to enter the series.
Herta: I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to do Formula 1
The 21-year-old is expected to contend for the IndyCar championship this season. He wants to at least try F1 and that was his original career path until he returned from Europe ahead of the 2017 season.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to do Formula One,” Herta said last month. “I think people forget that I’m 21 years old and I can come back in five years and still run 15 years in IndyCar and be 40. So I’d definitely want to give it a crack if I get the opportunity.
“But I’m 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.”
Herta has six career wins over three seasons and finished third in the 2020 season standings. He was fifth last season and is the defending winner on the streets of St. Petersburg, where IndyCar opens next Sunday.
Herta drove the closing leg on the winning class entry last month in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, then traveled to Sweden to compete alongside Jimmie Johnson for the United States in the Race of Champions. The duo finished a surprising second.