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Mario Andretti

Andretti calls for F1 talks amid continued team interest

Andretti's plans to join the Formula 1 grid have not slowed down despite a rejection from the sport earlier this year.

Mario Andretti
To news overview © XPBimages

1978 Formula 1 world champion Mario Andretti has hit back at the sport's lack of belief in his project to join the grid in the near future.

Andretti's proposal to form its own team was rejected by F1 earlier this year despite approval from the FIA.

The setback has not deterred the American organisation, which is continuing its pursuit of establishing its own squad as soon as possible.

Earlier this month it opened a new facility at Silverstone as a hub for its prospective F1 team.

The operation is being run by Mario's son Michael, with the former admitting to being offended by F1's rejection following its initial investment.

“I was offended, actually. I don’t think we deserved that, to be honest with you,” Andretti told the Associated Press.

“It’s a big investment in the series, and you’d think they’d welcome that. Even the value of the series is more valuable with 11 teams than 10, so I don’t know. Tell us what is really wrong.”

Andretti not losing hope

Andretti and F1 are now due to enter talks in Miami next month where Mario aims to clear up any misconceptions over its proposal.

“We only had one meeting with them,” he said. “That’s a problem. We haven’t had enough. I think that’s why I really welcome our next meeting.

“You know, let’s sit down. There were some opportunities missed along the way, but we’ve got to look forward, not back.

“I’m remaining hopeful because we never stop working towards this. It was made clear that our work is at pace, and as you can see we’re not just talking.

“We’re putting brick and mortar together. We’ve shown that with the team that already has a place in Silverstone.”

Andretti also has the backing of General Motors, with the American automotive giant signing up to join as a power unit constructor from 2028.

“We’re trying to say ‘We’ll do whatever you ask of us. We’ll do whatever is there. Now, if you think of something, you tell us,’” Andretti added.

“But they haven’t told us yet except for some excuses like, ‘Oh we don’t want you coming on, we don’t want you to be embarrassed.’ But we don’t want to embarrass ourselves, and the fact is General Motors has made it so clear that they’re excited about this project.

“They have a long-term commitment there, and I don’t know what else we can do.”

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