With this weekend’s United States Grand Prix to be held at the ever so popular Circuit of the America’s in Austin, Texas, the latest news about this event that could give the sport a big boost is not the race itself, or even the famous and anticipated race in Las Vegas next month, but the talk about having a new team in Formula 1 perhaps as long as waiting until 2026. That name is a famous one that still holds a lot of controversy today.

That name is Andretti and following a list from the F.I.A. to seek another team, which had as many as four entries, it was Andretti, even with the addition of the General Motors sponsor Cadillac, which put the team as the only winner to be selected and approved by the Paris, France based organization.

But hold on, now the final approval comes down to the other side of the equation, and that is the Formula One Management Organization, (F.O.M) which controls the money and how it is distributed to the teams. And this is where the sticking point really is, which in turn, might make Andretti fail to advance any further to compete as the 11th team in the world’s most popular form of motorsport.

So, with the approval of one side, what is making the other so much against having another team?

The answer is very simple: money. For many of the teams like the bottom ones, like Williams and the only American team officially in this competition, Haas, the money would be taken away from these two, and with the money drained out of their programs, would be harder for them to keep their teams running in good shape. Andretti have made some attempts to do what most of the managers of the current Formula 1 teams really want: to take over a squad that would just make Andretti move in and control it, rather than having to start a team up from scratch, in which Andretti more likely does favor, because it would take full control to hire who they want and not have a bunch of leftovers from the former team that were left dry following the demise of their former team.

Andretti has made three attempts to take over such teams as Sauber, Alpha Tauri and finally even a look at Haas themselves, before eventually all being rejected by their proposal. So, the American company now known as Andretti Global, now must go at it alone. And with all the current ten teams who basically want more than 200 million dollars entry fee raised to 600, it might not deflect Andretti from attempting to enter F1.

Michael Andretti (right) speaking to F.I.A. President Mohammad Ben Sulayem during last May's Miami Grand Prix. Photo by Planet F1

But does this raise the chances for the American audience to have more popularity to accept the fact that Andretti could be better than the other American Haas team and raise the awareness in the U.S.? It could, but the team must be competitive against the others to make the audience raise the sport with more popularity. So two teams would be a good idea but could take some of the fans away from currently being more aligned with Haas themselves. So, with all these delays, it is very difficult to find whether this possible new team can make it to the starting line at all.

Already, the idea was to do an engine deal with the Alpine section of Renault, then move over to Cadillac, once there is an engine available. But Alpine Renault have stopped the deal, because of the delay in selecting this team to race in Formula 1. So, Andretti, according to the F.I.A. rules, must have a situation for a future deal of engines now, perhaps switching to Honda, which currently powers the IndyCars that Andretti currently uses. Formula 1 already has put more money into three teams at the point where money is tough, like Sauber, Williams, and Haas.

So, if the money goes higher for some of the teams, then maybe some can supply the others and Andretti would not have such a problem about entering. But this is the problem, and with a tight budget, it will be a problem for the other teams to accept this deal, unless something can be done about it, and unfortunately, this is going to take a long time before anything can be solved to have one of the most popular names in racing come into one for the most popular series that this sport can offer.

This idea will be on the minds of many people that will be attending this weekend’s race, and a lot of tension will increase as both the F.I.A. and the F.O.M. could be in a discussion to see who can decide a plan on whether or not another team can enter the sport with success.

By Mark Gero

If Andretti Global does race in 2026, this is what the team's logo will look like. Photo by Planet F1