Andretti Globals’ Formula Racing has been approved to join the Formula 1 grid barring it reaches an agreement with Formula One Management. The FIA has approved the group led by Michael Andretti but there is another hurdle to leap in the shape of Formula 1’s commercial rights holder.
A statement from Formula 1 on Monday about the Andretti development:
“We note the FIA’s conclusions in relation to the first and second phases of their process and will now conduct our own assessment of the merits of the remaining application,”
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said:
“The FIA was very clear in establishing stringent criteria for entry from the outset of the Expressions of Interest procedure,” he said.
“Our objective, after rigorous due diligence during the application phase, was to only approve prospective entries which satisfied the set criteria and illustrated that they would add value to the sport.
“The FIA is obliged to approve applications that comply with the Expressions of Interests application requirements and we have adhered to that procedure in deciding that Andretti Formula Racing LLC’s application would proceed to the next stage of the application process.
“In taking that decision, the FIA is acting in accordance with EU directives on motor sport participation and development.
“Andretti Formula Racing LLC was the only entity which fulfils the selection criteria that was set in all material respects. I congratulate Michael Andretti and his team on a thorough submission. I also want to thank all prospective teams for their interest and participation”.
Color me reactionary but this doesn’t read like two organizations in agreement about increasing the number of teams on the grid. There’s plenty of evidence that many of the teams are concerned about splitting the prize money 11 ways, hence their insistence that a new entry would have to demonstrate they would “add value” to the sport…in other words, increase the size of the pie they are all eating from.
It wouldn’t surprise me if this a formality and Andrettis is rubber-stamped but it also wouldn’t surprise me if it gets stalled in an FOM approval process and buried. I could see this getting derailed using the lack of proof of something like societal impact or sustainability achievements which would be ridiculous but probably a gray enough area to bury an application due to the lack of metrics around that topic as a whole.