The target remains a debut in 2025 with a customer Renault power unit, while it awaits a decision from FOM on its plans. The longer-term plan is to have a Cadillac V6 in the back of the car by 2028.
With no official word from F1 on a potential entry, the team has still had to push ahead with its programme on the basis that it cannot afford to wait.
The fact that it is already hard at work in the design office and wind tunnel is also a signal of intent, and a demonstration that this is a serious project with proper financial backing behind it.
It’s also a complex undertaking that will see the team operating from four sites in three countries.
Splitting departments between countries is nothing new, and it’s a strategy currently undertaken by Haas and the recently renamed RB team, for example.
However, Michael Andretti’s plans are particularly ambitious. The race team and design departments will be based at Silverstone, the aero guys will use the Toyota wind tunnel in Cologne, and simulations, vehicle dynamics and R&D will be undertaken at the GM Motorsports facility in Charlotte.
When Andretti Global’s huge new base in the Indianapolis suburb of Fishers is completed, it will become the home for manufacturing, which in the interim will be conducted by outside suppliers.
A racing team is also about people. Andretti has been actively recruiting F1 veterans, including some who had recently spent time on similar start-up projects that didn’t make it through the FIA entry process.
Nick Chester, the team’s cornerstone
Photo by: Renault F1
The first man to commit was technical director Nick Chester, who is leading the design programme at Silverstone after 20 years at the Enstone-based team in a variety of roles, including technical director, and a stint at McLaren’s Formula E squad.
“Michael explained what he was trying to do and what he was aiming to do in entering F1,” says Chester. “And to be honest, it was very, very exciting. The target to build a fresh team to go and win was a very attractive proposition. And doing it all from a blank sheet.
“I think the appeal was knowing the investment behind it, knowing that effectively it’s a family-backed team with the Andrettis, and the history they’ve got in racing, and the knowledge they’ve got in racing.
“You put those together, the strong investment, a real will to win and that family history, and that was what really swayed it for me. And the chance…