Mario Andretti revealed today that, although reports may have quietened, the family’s Formula 1 team application is worked on daily and diligently as they target being on the Grand Prix grid as early as 2024.
Speaking on Sky F1’s Any Driven Monday, Andretti confirmed: “I can tell you that we’re working on that every single day when the objective is clear and strong, and real. We’re trying to meet every prerequisite and go through all the protocols.
“The objectives are still strong as ever, at the moment I can tell you that we’d like to be on the grid in 2024 for that there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes, and preparation… You would be surprised how much we have going on. And then again, I’m just hoping that good reason will prevail here.”
Last month Andretti Autosport revealed $200-million expansion plans for their racing facility in Indianapolis, Michael announcing that “it would serve the organisation’s global commercial functions and the base of operations for the team’s current NTT IndyCar Series, Indy Lights and IMSA programs and other future racing initiatives.”
As F1 jets to America this week with one quasi-American, ultra-low key backmarker team, in Haas, the spectre of an 11th team has been floating around the paddock since Michael Andretti and his mega racing organisation aired their desire to join the F1 circus.
And some of the ‘clowns’ who are part of the show, performed and moaned questioning the value Andretti would bring to their exclusive party, and really showing the concept (of another much-needed team in the top flight) no love whatsoever with circus master aka F1 chief Stefano Domenicali buying into their reasoning.
However, the decision on Team 11 is not for Liberty Media’s F1 or shortsighted team bossed but rather up to the FIA and its President Mohammed Ben Sulayem who will decide in Andretti Global will indeed be on the grid, and word is they have given the Americans a blueprint of processes to be followed.
Andretti: F1 reaction is a bit surprising and some of it is disappointing
Asked about the cold shoulder treatment from their future rivals, the 1978 F1 World Champion said: “It’s a bit surprising and some of it is disappointing, obviously, to that degree. But, again, you know, the teams, they all have their own objectives.
“You need to look at the big picture. I mean, it’s, this is a huge investment in the sport and for the long term, and I don’t see why that wouldn’t be received better than it has so far,” said Andretti.
With three races next year in the USA, the time is more than ripe for an American driver and team to take the sport to the next level, beyond Netflix’s Drive to Survive series.
Andretti said of the Stateside boom: “The interest has grown immensely, especially through the Netflix series that I think showcases F1 in depth. And that’s a beautiful thing. So F1 is enjoying a great bubble at the moment.
“So let’s feed the bubble, let’s not let a burst in any way not that you know that it would first but you know, all of a sudden, you’re gonna have three bonafide F1 events in this country, which is unprecedented and to have a full fledge American team, I don’t think that’s going to hurt the situation in any way.
“It should help as far as interest, you know, to just even bring in a lot of the fan base that’s already here into F1. So, again, we’re looking at something you know, selfishly because from my standpoint, you know, there’s nothing that will determine my love for F1 in any possible way.
“But that’s why we just want to be there. We want to be part of it and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” declared 82-year-old Andretti.