Former world champion Mario Andretti has confirmed he is working on plans to bring a new team to the Formula One grid from 2024, but there is a “process they must respect” amid warnings from current teams.
Andretti, the 1978 world champion, and his son Michael, also a former F1 driver and a champion in IndyCar, have been linked with bringing an American team to the grid after were reported to be in interested in purchasing Sauber last year.
Reports of Andretti submitting paperwork to the FIA surfaced earlier this year, in what would be the first new team to join to the grid since Haas’ entry in 2017, but was met with scepticism from Red Bull principal Christian Horner and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.
“I can tell you one thing, it’s not for the lack of trying,” Andretti told Sky Sports, regarding his family’s plans. “We’re on it, no question about it.
“There’s a process that we’re respecting and we’re trying to check all the boxes we’re expected to be checking and the objective is to be there, to be on the grid in 2024. We have a big, huge team that can make this happen.
Wolff had previously suggested that Andretti, or any new team, would have to pay more than the required $200 million entry fee to join the grid.
“Every team that is joining needs to add value,” Wolff said in February. It’s not only by paying a $200m entry fee but it needs to demonstrate in my opinion what it can do for all the other teams and for Formula 1 and the FIA. Only then the sport will grow.”
While Horner commented: “But there is a clear criteria through the Concorde Agreement that has to be met and approved. I’m sure they are engaged in that process.“That agreement is there to protect the 10 incumbents and not to dilute that. So that would need to be carefully looked at.”
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