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Andretti backed for top five fight 'straight away' in F1

Andretti's push to join the Formula 1 grid continues despite its pushback from Formula One Management. Speaking to RacingNews365, Louis Deletraz, who has experience working with the Andretti organisation, has backed the team for a successful entry should it be accepted.

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Michael Andretti has been pursuing to join the Formula 1 grid for some time but has faced a series of challenges and unyielding resistance.

Despite its bid for the 2026 season being received negatively by Formula One Management, Andretti is pushing ahead with plans to establish its presence on the grid through measures such as establishing a base at Silverstone and making key hires such as veteran F1 engineer Pat Symonds.

Upon rejecting Andretti, F1 highlighted that it did not believe the team would be a “competitive participant” on the grid and insisted that a new team would carry the most value “in particular by competing for podiums and race wins”.

Andretti has a global presence in motorsport and has successful set-ups in categories such as IndyCar and Formula E.

It is also present in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship in partnership with Wayne Taylor Racing, with Louis Deletraz being one of its drivers.

The ex-Haas F1 development driver, who spent several years racing in Formula 2, spoke to RacingNews365 about Andretti's potential for success in F1.

“Andretti doesn't have to prove anything to anyone,” Deletraz said. “They are so big and so successful that they would do well in F1.

“Of course, you don't enter F1 and beat Red Bull and Ferrari and Mercedes right away.

“But I think when you look at what some of the teams at the back of the grid do, Andretti would be there, fighting straight away for a top five, top six position in the championship.”

Andretti to F1 'great for everyone'

Deletraz's adventure with Andretti personnel saw him take to the top step of the podium at the 12 Hours of Sebring earlier this year, alongside team-mates Colton Herta and Jordan Taylor.

The 27-year-old switched his focus to endurance racing after calling time on his single-seater career at the end of 2020.

With a new partnership formed with Andretti, Deletraz hailed the effort of the team employees and reaffirmed his hope that the American squad will find its way onto the F1 grid going forward.

“I think it would be great for everyone, and it would be great for young drivers,” he said.

“I drive for WTR Andretti in the US I see the people, I see how the team works. 

“I think it's a shame that there's so much resistance. This is way above me, this is politics there's a lot of money involved and it's not only about the sport.

“For us fans and us motorsport lovers, it's only a good thing to have an 11th team in F1. Especially as they would like to also be in Formula 2 and Formula 3 from what I understand, because they want to be global.

“In a way, this is again great for young drivers, great for everyone when there is a team like Andretti and a name like Andretti coming in. So I really hope they can make it.”

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