Andretti ‘optimistic’ as Renault link strengthens

Wed, 2 August 2023, 10:00

Aug.2 (GMM) Michael Andretti says he is “optimistic” the FIA will green-light his organisation’s application to join the Formula 1 grid.

The latest rumour in the Andretti-Cadillac saga is that the Spanish sports daily Marca reports that the former McLaren driver met with Renault CEO Luca de Meo at the Canadian GP recently.

The revelation comes amid the existing teams’ ongoing hesitance to welcome an eleventh or twelfth competitor to the grid in 2025 or 2026 – and Andretti’s claim that none of them are even interested in talking about a potential team acquisition.

Andretti’s Formula E team, Avalance Andretti, has just wrapped up the all-electric series’ latest world championship in London.

In London, he was asked by Speed Week about how preparations for the F1 project are coming along.

“I am constantly updated by our project managers,” the American answered.

“Everything is on schedule with the construction of the new headquarters in Fishers, Indiana. We hope to move there from our old base by the end of 2024,” Andretti added.

“The investment is really big and we want to settle our North American projects there as well as our Formula 1 team. Our first car will be built in Europe, but then in Indiana.

“We’re going to have the first US-built Formula 1 car.”

If it sounds like he is confident of getting approval for an Andretti up and running in F1, Andretti said: “Yes, I’m optimistic about that.

“I hope the FIA will clarify this in the next few weeks. In any case, we are preparing at full speed. We currently have 25 employees, and the number is constantly growing.”

A key to the potential green-light for the team is the backing of General Motors and Cadillac, who Andretti insists is also “working at full speed” on F1 even if a re-branded customer Renault engine deal is initially expected.

“They’re really getting into it,” Michael, who was Ayrton Senna’s teammate for part of 1993 and is the son of former world champion Mario Andretti, said when asked about Cadillac.

As for the potential driver lineup, Andretti has consistently said his Indycar driver, Colton Herta, is part of the F1 project.

Alex Palou, who currently drives for Indycar rival Ganassi, is also on Andretti’s radar.

“I have not the slightest doubt that Alex and Colton are ready for Formula 1,” he said. “I would immediately put both of them in a Formula 1 car.

“Lando (Norris) used to be Colton’s teammate and they were at the same level. Now if you look at Lando in Formula 1, you know what Colton could do as well.”

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