Several teams have submitted applications to join the Formula 1 grid, but there was always a guarantee some of these bids would fail. Even if they received full approval from the FIA, the reception from Liberty Media and team principals regarding new entrants has been lukewarm at best.
With that said, reports indicate only Andretti was successful in achieving FIA approval for the last stage of its application.
Andretti made its intentions to join F1 several years ago, submitting a bid to take over Sauber in 2021.
Negotiations were extensive and almost conclusive, but last-minute changes prevented the deal from happening. Since then, the US group has committed itself to joining the grid as an independent team.
As outlined previously, enthusiasm among existing teams for a new entrant is very low. Generally speaking, their grievance is with the allocation of prize money. The analogy of a “smaller piece of the pie” is always used to illustrate this.
It is argued that considering the growth in Formula 1 and the worth of its teams, a new entrant should pay more than the originally agreed $200 million in the Concorde Agreement.
However, Andretti cannot be blamed for a change in evaluation over the past few seasons. This has fast developed into a significant topic of debate for F1 fans, many of whom are eager to see 11 teams in the sport.
Despite often sceptical interviews from Stefano Domenicali, recent weeks suggest Andretti is closer to an agreement with Liberty Media. Acceptance from the FIA, which according to motorsport-total is being finalised, was always expected.
With that said, the degree to which Formula 1 was willing to resist their entrance seemed unclear. Now, it seems there is some room for negotiation between the two parties.
Several teams have been rejected by the FIA, including Hitech and Carlin – two familiar names for avid race fans. This was widely anticipated, especially given the difficulties faced by Andretti even after their investment and agreement with Cadillac.
In the upcoming weeks, more details will emerge on this front.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang