The FIA has granted approval for a new team to join Formula 1, opening the potential for the grid to expand beyond 20 cars.
Following months of deliberations, the application of Andretti Formula Racing LLC has been approved after a comprehensive application process.
Earlier this year, the FIA opened the formal application process for new teams to join the grid as early as 2025, one year before new technical regulations come into play.
F1 has existed with 10 teams since the 2017 season, with Haas being the last squad to set up in the paddock.
Last year, Andretti Global announced its plans to join F1 in the future and confirmed a tie-up with Cadillac in January, which would see the major car brand arrive on the grid with it should it be successful.
Andretti fields successful teams in the NTT IndyCar Series as well as the all-electric Formula E category. As part of its increased investment in motorsport, Andretti showcased plans to build a brand new racing headquarters in Fishers, Indiana.
This enabled them progress along with three other applicants to Phase 2 of the process, which assessed them on their sporting and technical capabilities, the ability of the team to raise and maintain sufficient funding to allow participation in the Championship at a competitive level, and the team’s experience and human resources.
With the FIA’s approval, a decision now must be made by F1 itself with the governing body confirming that its findings have been passed on to Formula One Management (FOM) for "commercial discussions."
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Andretti 'the only team' to fulfil selection criteria
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “The FIA was very clear in establishing stringent criteria for entry from the outset of the Expressions of Interest procedure. Our objective, after rigorous due diligence during the application phase, was to only approve prospective entries which satisfied the set criteria and illustrated that they would add value to the sport.
“The FIA is obliged to approve applications that comply with the Expressions of Interests application requirements and we have adhered to that procedure in deciding that Andretti Formula Racing LLC’s application would proceed to the next stage of the application process. In taking that decision, the FIA is acting in accordance with EU directives on motor sport participation and development.
“Andretti Formula Racing LLC was the only entity which fulfils the selection criteria that was set in all material respects. I congratulate Michael Andretti and his team on a thorough submission. I also want to thank all prospective teams for their interest and participation.
“The Expressions of Interest process builds on the positive acceptance of the FIA’s 2026 F1 Power Unit Regulations among existing OEMs which has also attracted further commitment from Audi, Honda and Ford and interest from Porsche and General Motors.
"I would like to thank all of the FIA team members involved in the Expressions of Interest process for their tireless efforts in ensuring a diligent assessment of all of the applications received."
FOM to decide fate of Andretti
The FIA decision to approve Andretti's entry does not guarantee their spot on the grid, as they must still prove their commercial value to F1 rights holder Liberty Media and the existing teams.
Responding to the news, FOM said: "We note the FIA’s conclusions in relation to the first and second phases of their process and will now conduct our own assessment of the merits of the remaining application."
Several of the existing teams have been against expanding beyond the 10 teams currently set up amid fears over how it would alter the end-of-year revenue shares.