F1 News: McLaren and Aston Martin emerge as allies for Andretti

Jaden Diaz
24 Oct, 2023

McLaren and Aston Martin are considered key allies in Andretti’s paddock as negotiations with F1 continue.

Few would dispute that Andretti faces a steep mountain to join the F1 grid in 2025. In previous years, FIA approval was the biggest obstacle to entering the pinnacle of motorsport. The likes of Caterham, Manor and Haas entered the field in this way.

However, following the Concorde Agreement, there are additional requirements for new applicants. These include a significant $200 million entry fee and proof that they can “add value” to the sport. Ironically, the second standard is harder to meet – since it is so arbitrary and undefined.

Andretti is already getting a taste of the ultra-political aspects of F1 – without even joining the grid. Toto Wolff and Guenther Steiner have been amongst the most outspoken critics of the American outfit’s efforts to join.

Haas

Outspoken opposition

Wolff’s complaints are slightly more difficult to decipher since Mercedes is clearly in a very strong financial and competitive position. The German constructor was spending double or even triple its current expenditure (thanks to the budget cap) in the past. With this context, his criticisms towards Andretti are somewhat baffling.

The same cannot be said for Guenther Steiner, whose opposition to Andretti is easier to analyse. Simply put, Andretti is an American outfit that offers a significantly better package to the sport than Haas.

Andretti has significantly better financial firepower, and their alliance with General Motors/Cadillac is proof of this. They are also investing in their own facilities, which is something Haas has neglected since joining F1 in 2026.

Support within the paddock

Amidst this opposition – which is difficult to get behind – Andretti has found a handful of supporters on the grid. The first is McLaren, whose support for their entry has been vocalised on several occasions by Zak Brown.

The second is Aston Martin, whose team principal, Mike Krack, worked with Andretti previously in Formula E. Last weekend’s American GP allowed Andretti to co-ordinate with key players on the field and gauge the playing field.

Other teams are slightly more in the grey area. Ferrari, for example, has been very measured in their statements surrounding the US outfit.

Alpine was initially supportive since they had an engine agreement with this potential 11th entry. However, this deal recently expired. At least for now, the French outfit has other priorities beyond supporting a new team.

Still, it is worth pointing out the pro-Andretti factions (at least relatively speaking) on the grid. Time will tell how the negotiations regarding their entry application for 2025 unfold.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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