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Andretti Formula Racing

F1 risks looking foolish if it does not accept Andretti entry

Why Formula 1 should accept Andretti's entry, otherwise it risks looking like a shadow of its former self.

Pits Zanvoort
To news overview © XPBimages

Andretti has cleared the first hurdle in its quest to join the Formula 1 grid after the FIA, the series' governing body, approved its entry.

The American team will now enter into "commercial discussions" with F1 commercial rights holders Liberty Media, who will then decide whether they will grant the entry full approval.

It's well-documented how much the existing teams have been resistant to the idea of opening the grid up to more teams, not least because they stand a chance of losing a lot of prize pot money.

But not accepting Andretti on this basis alone would risk making F1 look - in the words of 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti - snobbish and resistant to growth.

A new entry that aligns with F1's recent goals

In the last 10 years the United States has went from having no F1 race, to now having the most races in any one country.

The Circuit of the Americas paved the way for the championship's great comeback in the states after a controversial exit in 2007, with Miami showing what could be possible if you want to cater to growing demand.

Now F1 will make its way to Las Vegas in November, in what is set to be one of the most expensive and lavish Grand Prix on the calendar.

Having a team with the legendary Andretti name will further add to the growth plans in the country, not least if they are bringing onboard Cadillac as an engine partner - part of one of the biggest automakers in the world in General Motors.

Andretti's goals of opening up a brand new racing headquarters in Fishers, Indiana while also operating outside of Europe, represents an important shift needed for F1 to diversify team operations as six out of the current 10 base themselves in the UK.

Andretti has already proven themselves

Andretti already has proven it can operate in some of the world's premier motorsport categories, with their portfolio ranging from IndyCar, the all-electric Formula E and Extreme E, sportscar series IMSA, and Australian Supercars.

In total, it has won the Indianapolis 500 six times and the IndyCar title four times, while it also recently won the Formula E Drivers' Championship with Jake Dennis.

The proposal to link up with Cadillac does not look any more different to Haas, whose Ferrari technical partnership enabled them to join, or other 'privateers' such as Red Bull, Williams, or McLaren.

The FIA's rigorous analysis will have already proven they can sustain themselves financially, so it stands to reason that Andretti should be given a shot at competing for the ultimate motorsport prize.

F1 should welcome competition

The days of F1 prior to Liberty Media were characterised by self interest and greed among those who ran the championship, and the teams participating.

Since the takeover by one of the biggest media conglomerates in the world, F1 has been put back on the map as an entertaining and viable spectator sport.

By not accepting a credible 11th entry, it could risk looking like the shadow of its former self and resistant to competition.

Andretti has given F1 enough reasons why they should be on the grid, and that's more than can be said for some of the entrants that joined during the 2010 intake.


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