Does F1 need another Andretti?

Perhaps it’s the thought of trying to find an American driver that could possibly join Haas F! for the 2016 Formula 1 season or maybe it is speculation based on some rumblings in the paddock but now you can add another name to the rumored list of 10 potential drivers Haas F1 is looking at (purportedly). Marco Andretti.

The last Andretti to venture into the wild and woolly world of F1 was his father, Michael, and that didn’t end too well if I’m honest…and slightly polite. I’m not one of those Americans who feels that Haas F1 absolutely needs an American driver to be relevant. It would be nice but I would rather see the team successful and then create a young driver program in the US with some merit and efficacy. Something akin to the Red Bull program and its incredible success.

In order to get there, the team needs to be viable, competitive and well supported. That means all levels of the team need to be the best it can be and playing wet-nurse to an American driver just so they can say they have an American driver does little for anyone. Better to have the best drivers you can afford for now, score points, get your sea legs in F1 and then create a real ladder system for young American drivers to progress through.

Drivers such as Nico Hulkenberg, Jenson Button, Sergio Perez, Jean-Eric Vergne, Felipe Nasr, and many others who have a super license and can easily bring experience and development skills with them. That’s a critical element to the equation when a team is trying to figure out where the paddock bathrooms and FIA badge-holder offices are let alone how to score points in a race.

I have nothing against Marco Andretti but I’m of the mindset that there are much better, more F1-experienced drivers available that would be a more strategic move in teh long term. Marco said:

“It [F1] depends on a lot of the logistics, for sure,” said the 28-year-old. “Formula 1 is still the cream of the crop to me.

“Having said that, it would be tough to leave [IndyCar] because I feel like I’m just coming into my own as a driver.

“I think it took a little too long, but I feel I’m in a good place. I feel like we can compete anywhere we roll off. That’s a good feeling.

“Formula 1 would be like starting over. The expectations wouldn’t be high, maybe, with that [Haas F1] team.

“If you can go beat your team-mate over there, that’s what people look at.

“Yeah, I would definitely take a strong look at it.”

I bet he would. If he did, let’s hope he can reprise his grandfather’s success in F1 and not his fathers misfire.


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Michael seemed to want to tackle F1 in the same way Haas does – who led based in the USA. It didn’t work for Andretti and I have doubts that it will work for Haas.

It was a shame as Michael certainly had the talent to do well, and Haas has sufficient racing knowledge, but everyone in F1 is talented and newcomers cannot waste time traveling backwards and forwards across the Atlantic.

Daniel Johnson

Everything with Haas seems very calculated. He knows all the talk from Danica and Marco was going to happen, but neither are going to be driving for him. I’m not expecting great things year one, but I do expect that he’ll be fielding a mid level team before too long.

I read an article today that pointed out he’s the only majorly successful owner in Nascar that joined after 92. I think he’s in for a fight but I don’t think it’s beyond his grasp.


Haas bought the Marussia complex in England and they just opened another facility in Spain so it doesn’t sound like they’ll be going back and forth too much. Not sure how much they’re doing in the states at this time but the cars will be developed in Europe.


IMO, Marco doesn’t have half the talent Michael did, and Michael didn’t have half the talent Mario did. Marco is better off tooling around in lower series like the IRL.

Tom Firth

As much as the idea of an Andretti in F1 is a nice idea. It’s too late. If Marco was going to F1, should of done it a few years ago when he was within the testing circle for Honda et al, and when the super license system allowed for it.

He won’t have half of what he needs, points wise to get a superlicense in 2016, so unfortunately it’s a non starter, unless of course the FIA makes a mockery of it’s system on the first year.

Tom Firth

I can see why the suggestion for Marco to go to F1 exists, It’s still one of the most recognisable racing names in the US, and despite not having the results of his father or grandfather, Marco on the right day, with the right package is still a quick driver. He’s proved that several times, but politics will work against him in this case.

Maybe in a couple of decades when Mia or Mario are old enough, we might get another Andretti in F1!

peter riva

They need to look to 2 wheeled racing – the reaction times are similar. The rest is training.

Mike W

Oh look, somebody shoved a microphone in Marco’s face and asked him about the Haas F1 seats. I’m not sure this qualifies as Marco throwing his hat in the ring though. Marco is very inconsistent, seems to be better on ovals than road/street courses, and doesn’t have anywhere near the results necessary to even be mentioned in this conversation, even though he has been consistently in good equipment. Yet he hints at a truth in IndyCar. Most IndyCar drivers take several years of seasoning before they start to get consistent and start winning. It would be unfortunate for Marco if… Read more »


This may sound a bit harsh but how the hell does this guy think he is worthy of a F1 seat. 2 wins in almost a decade of Indy racing and his best points finish is 5th. If not form the last name this I’m sure he wouldn’t even be in Indy car. Honestly he would fit nicley into the Formula E series. Prost, Senna, Andretti. How perfect? All jokes aside I would as an American love to see Rossi get a seat at Haas. I agree that there are more experienced drivers which is obvious. But to pair him… Read more »

Jimmy Wallace

I’d love to see Hulkenberg/Rossi there too, but right now Nico has a realistic shot of making Q3 every race….at Haas I kinda doubt that will be the case next year.


Marco is 28, hardly the age to start thinking about dipping your toe into F1, and besides to be perfectly honest, he really isn’t that good. The only thing that he has going for him, in order to be considered for entry into F1 is his size, not his limited talent.


Right. He is not very talented in my opinion as well. 2 wins at Andretti in 9 years is crazy. He’s slightly more qualified to run a F1 car than Suzie Wolf.


First off Michael went to a McLaren team that was down on power with the Ford engine. He got caught up in many start and first lap incidents by other drivers who took advantage. Michael also had a third place finish in one race during that season. I wish he had more time to sort out Formula One as Michael could have been far better.

tony v

Sure it was down on power, but the
GREAT Senna won 5 races in that dog of a car(perhaps his best season ever) whilst Michael kept crashing into Saubers. If he stuck around the team and learned more from the greatest driver of the generation (possibly all generations) he would have fared much better. Monza was a fluke.

Paul KieferJr

Everyone seems to forget that there are at least three seats to a team, 1 main driver, 1 second driver and 1 reserve/development/practice driver (or however that works. This being the case, why does everyone think that you have to have two American drivers or two experienced drivers? Why can’t it be both? 1 experienced driver, 1 regular driver, 1 practice driver. You only need 1 experienced person and you only need 1 American driver. Problem solved.


Does F1 need another Andretti? Not no but hell no. This spoiled brat can’t contend in Indy Cars so what would make anyone think he would be any better in F1? Give me a friggin break!!!

Bob Clarke

With due respect to Michael, he shouldn’t have flown home after every race. Should have stayed on a cot in the back of the garage (as someone else once wrote), should have learned some of the languages, etc… Having said that, I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been. Talk about the ajita….