Mario Andretti says that his team are still preparing themselves for an F1 entry, despite pushbacks from key figures in the F1 paddock.
Earlier in the year, F1 champion Andretti, along with son Michael, announced plans for the Andretti team to join the F1 grid from 2024.
However, over the course of the season, the idea of Andretti becoming the 11th F1 team has been met with pessimistic responses from the likes of Mercedes Team Prinicpal Toto Wolff, and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.
They do have some backing from the existing F1 teams, with McLaren Team Prinicipal and Alpine F1 Team CEO Laurent Rossi expressing an interest in the increased competition.
When asked about the resistance to his team’s targeted F1 entry, Andretti was defiant in his belief that they would be granted a place on the 2024 grid.
“We’re working every single day on this project, with the intention to be on the grid in 2024,” Andretti told PlanetF1.
“We’re preparing as if we were given the go-ahead. So, Michael is on it, and that’s what we expect to do. We’re certainly not giving up. It’s a very serious project for us, and we’re ready to make that investment.
“Honestly, [the reception] has been extremely disappointing, obviously, so far. But, at the same time, we’re just trying to come up with whatever is asked of us, we’re trying to satisfy it – I don’t know what else we can do.”
Andretti: ‘We’ll be in F1 for the long-term’
Formula 1’s latest Concorde Agreement included a $200m entry fee for any new teams, designed to ensure the credibility of any new teams, and provide a financial package for the existing F1 teams to offset the diluted prize money.
Whilst the $200m pot would help existing teams in the short term, the longer-term threat to their prize money is a likely reason for resistance.
When asked if he believed an Andretti team would add value to F1, he insisted that Andretti Global F1 would be a long-term project.
“I think we can add to it. We’re just working toward that we have, and we have every intention to be part of it,” he added.
“[The pushback] is disappointing in that sense, because we’re trying to join Formula 1 for the long term. That’s something that we can guarantee. You make this type of an investment – you’re not going to go in and out. I think that there’s something to be said for that.
“So, it’s a big investment in any company and you’d think you will be welcomed… But we’re still fighting, we’re trying to see if we can satisfy everything that they’re asking. Just put it out there and we will do it. So that’s all we can do.”