A Andretti Cadillac contested the allegations made by Formula 1 when the highest category of motorsport rejected the team’s candidacy to join the global motorsport elite in 2025.
The North American group, in fact, made it clear that it is now focusing on entering the World Cup in 2026despite the F1 having left the door open for the structure to enter the grid this season 2028.
Four months after approval of the registration of the Andretti for the FIA (International Automobile Federation), the candidacy was rejected by the category in a long statement released on Wednesday.
The ‘no’ of F1 he set out several reasons why he believed the entry had to be refused, which went well beyond the commercial aspects that most observers expected F1 to address.
One of the main claims was that F1 felt the team had ‘bitten off more than they could chew’ in planning an entry for 2025 with a car built in accordance with current regulations, so that subsequently the team would be forced to move forward with the single-seater of the year with different rules that will come into force from the 2026 championship.
F1 noted: “We do not believe there is a basis for any new candidate to be admitted in 2025, as this would involve a first-time entrant building two completely different cars in their first two years of existence. The fact that the applicant proposes to do so gives us reason to question his understanding of the scale of the challenge involved.”
This is because Andretti had indicated that it was ready to enter in 2025 if the schedule allowed, but the team confirmed this Friday that internally it has already changed its focus to an entry in 2026. This step is effectively one of the main arguments of the category.
In a statement, the team said: “When Andretti Cadillac entered the FIA expression of interest process almost a year ago, the preferred first year of participation was indicated as 2025. The FIA approved our application, with no specific limitation on whether the registration was for 2025 or 2026. But Andretti Cadillac has already been operating with 2026 as the entry year for months. The detail of 2025 still being part of the candidacy is a result of the slowness of this process.”
In another seemingly damning revelation, F1 said: “Having had the opportunity to consider the applicant’s responses alongside our own deliberations, we subsequently wrote to the applicant on 12 December 2023, extending an invitation to a face-to-face meeting at our offices, for the candidate to present his proposal, but this offer was not accepted”.
This statement seemed to question the team’s ‘will’, but Andretti Cadillac claims to have no knowledge of the invitation. After F1’s statement was issued, Andretti’s IT team found the email, sent by an F1 member and not CEO Stefano Domenicali, in Michael Andretti’s spam folder. Furthermore, no follow-up message was sent afterwards.
“We were not aware of the offer of a face-to-face meeting and would not refuse a meeting with F1 management”, stated the team. “A face-to-face meeting to discuss commercial matters would be and continues to be of paramount importance to Andretti Cadillac. We welcome the opportunity to We met with F1 and wrote to them confirming our interest.”
Amid doubts that the group continues to work on its F1 project, the team also repeated the message included in the initial response issued on Wednesday, noting: “Our work continues at an accelerated pace.”