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Andretti reveals details of F1 team plan as ‘clock ticks’ on FIA call

Michael Andretti says he needs an answer from the FIA by next month on if he can get a Formula 1 team entry for 2024.

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The American’s Andretti Global operation has applied to enter F1, and needs to get a green light soon if it is going to have enough time to get things up and running.

Although there is no formal timeline for new entry deadlines in to F1, Andretti is clear he cannot wait much longer for the FIA to make a decision.

Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com about the situation, Andretti said: “We need it fast because the clock’s running for us to be there in 2024. We need to know within a month.”

Andretti says he is already quite clear in some key details about his F1 entry, with him committed to bringing his IndyCar driver Colton Herta to grand prix racing.

Andretti believes Herta’s presence would be one of the keys to making the team’s presence a success for F1 as a whole, at a time when there are two races in America – at COTA and new-for-2022 Miami – and a third is being planned for Las Vegas.

He suggested that the way Max Verstappen has boosted Dutch interest in grand prix racing proves that an American driver could do the same for the potential audience in the USA.

“You look at the growth in ratings in the Netherlands because they’ve got a driver,” he said. “There’s none here. If you get a good driver with a good following like Colton, I think they’ll be in great shape.

“To me it’s a no-brainer. I don’t know what the hold-up is, so hopefully they figure it out. The way we’re going to do it is going to be first class all the way. We’ve got big plans that will really be good for Formula 1.

“My backers are great, they’re in it to be competitive, they’re not just in it to say they’re in Formula 1. They’re sports guys, they’ve turned sports franchises around from where they weren’t competitive to then being competitive, so they know how to do this stuff.

“So it would be a shame if we couldn’t pull it off. It’ll be good for everybody.”

Romain Grosjean and Michael Andretti during 2022 driver announcement

Romain Grosjean and Michael Andretti during 2022 driver announcement

Photo by: Joe Skibinski

While Michael’s father, 1978 F1 world champion Mario Andretti, has suggested that Renault was the most likely engine partner for the team, no final call has been taken on this front.

It is understood that Ferrari remains an option if the team does get approval for the 2024 entry.

Michael Andretti said Renault was “one of the options”, but clarified there was “another one” and that no decision had yet been taken.

Regarding the team’s factory, Andretti said that he would prefer to base the operation in the United States in the long term, but understand he may also need a European headquarters.

“Eventually we’d like to build it here,” he said. “The first car would have to be farmed out, sort of like the way Haas does it now. And then eventually build our own car.

“My dream is to do it here, to have a true American car. We’d still have a big presence in the UK, but have the actual building of it here.”

On the possibility of becoming an F1 team boss, Andretti said: “I’m very excited about it.

“I’ve wanted to do it for a long time. I think it’s great for our brand and would put us at another level.

“It would raise our whole game, raise this [IndyCar] game as well. I’m in the business of racing and I always want us to do better.”

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