Mario Andretti said he felt “devastated” by Formula 1’s refusal to allow his son’s team to enter the series.
The 83-year-old is the 1978 F1 world champion and a 12-times grand prix winner. His son Michael, who also raced in F1 in 1993, submitted an application last year for his team to enter the series.
Andretti Global already competed in other FIA-sanctioned series such as Formula E, in addition to IndyCar, Extreme E and other championships. The FIA approved its application to enter F1 in October last year.
However FOM announced today it had turned down Andretti’s application to enter in either 2025 or 2026.
“I’m devastated,” said Mario Andretti, who raced in F1 over a 15-year period from 1968 to 1983, in a social media post. “I won’t say anything else because I can’t find any other words besides devastated.”
Among its reasons for turning down Andretti’s application, FOM claimed its name had too little recognition among the sport’s fans. “While the Andretti name carries some recognition for F1 fans, our research indicates that F1 would bring value to the Andretti brand rather than the other way around,” it said.
FOM also stated it did not believe it needed to expand the grid beyond the current 10 teams and argued Andretti was unlikely to be competitive if it was allowed to enter.
However F1’s statement did leave open the possibility of allowing Andretti’s team to enter in 2028, provided it secures a works engine supply from General Motors. Andretti previously announced a tie-up with the Cadillac brand.
“We would look differently on an application for the entry of a team into the 2028 championship with a GM power unit, either as a GM works team or as a GM customer team designing all allowable components in-house,” said FOM in a statement. “In this case there would be additional factors to consider in respect of the value that the applicant would bring to the championship, in particular in respect of bringing a prestigious new [original equipment manufacturer] to the sport as a [power unit] supplier.”
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