Andretti F1 buy-out efforts unsuccessful: 'Nobody wants to sell'

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Michael Andretti says Andretti Global’s efforts to acquire an existing F1 team have been unsuccessful, as no outfit on the grid is willing to sell.

Andretti-Cadillac submitted earlier this year to the FIA its ‘Expression of Interest’ F1 entry application which details a prospective outfit’s financial, technical and sustainable foundation and which the governing body must approve as a preliminary evaluation of a team’s merits.

Ahead of last week’s British Grand Prix, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem offered his public backing to Andretti-Cadillac, arguing that if the team’s project meets the FIA’s stringent criteria, it cannot be turned down given GM’s involvement.

Unfortunately, a majority of F1 teams, and indeed F1 itself, are reluctant to welcome an 11th outfit to the grid, as this would only dilute the sport’s all-important prize fund.

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes that Andretti-Cadillac should buy its way into the sport by acquiring an existing team. But Andretti has dismissed that option.

“We’ve tried. Nobody’s interested,” he told the media last weekend at the Sardinia X-Prix.

“We’ve been to every single team. They keep saying ‘well, buy a team’, and nobody wants to sell! You go there, and they’re not even interested in talking. I’ve been there, done that, and not happy.”

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Andretti says that he understands the teams’ reluctance to extend the grid, but insists the final decision on whether his outfit will be accepted or not rests with the FIA and Formula 1, not with the teams.

“Everybody has their own reasons why they’re doing things, they’re trying to protect their own interests, which, [I] can’t blame them,” he said.

“But everybody’s been looking out for themselves. And that was the biggest thing, when I said that I got criticised because I didn’t agree with it. If I was in their situation, I’d probably do the same thing.

“So I don’t blame the teams. They all are going to look out for themselves, because that’s what they need to do to be competitive.

“It’s a very, very expensive sport. There’s a lot involved, and there’s a lot of commitment from every team. So they got to make sure they protect that, and I understand that’s what they’re trying to do.

“But in the end, they’re not going to be the ones that make the decision. It’s going to be up to the series and the FIA to decide if they think it’s the right thing to do.”

Despite F1’s negative position towards accepting an 11th team, Andretti feels optimistic about his chances of joining the fray in 2025 or 2026, emphasizing that’s he’ll be bringing along “one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world”.

“General Motors is very, very involved with this,” he explained. “People are trying to say ‘well, they’re just putting their name on it’. No, it’s a very, very [integral] part of the whole team, and part of the team.

“I think once everything goes public on what we submitted, you’ll see that it’s a big [involvement].”

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