In a recent announcement, FIA President Mohamed Ben Sulayem unveiled the long-anticipated approval of Andretti Formula Racing’s application to potentially join the illustrious Formula One grid. However, the path to the F1 starting grid is still not entirely smooth, as Formula One Management (FOM) holds the ultimate authority to either welcome or thwart the team’s participation.
- The FIA’s seal of approval marks a significant milestone for Andretti Formula Racing, affirming that the team has uniquely satisfied all the intrinsic criteria set forth by the governing body. However, it’s important to note that the FOM still wields the power to hinder the team’s entry into the world of Formula One.
- With the potential inclusion of Andretti into the F1 roster, existing teams now face an altered financial landscape. The division of prize money among a larger pool of competitors underscores the necessity for new entrants like Andretti Formula Racing to not only participate but also elevate the sport to new heights.
- Throughout the rigorous approval process, the FIA left no stone unturned in its examination of Andretti Formula Racing. Their objective was clear – to ensure that the team not only met the established criteria but would also unquestionably “add value to the sport.”
FIA President Ben Sulayem emphasized the meticulous nature of the FIA’s scrutiny during this phase, stating, “Our objective, after rigorous due diligence during the application phase, was to only approve prospective entries which satisfied the set criteria and illustrated that they would add value to the sport.”
He further elaborated, “Andretti Formula Racing LLC was the only entity which fulfils the selection criteria that was set in all material respects.” Ben Sulayem extended his accolades to Michael Andretti and his team for their comprehensive submission. He also expressed gratitude to all aspiring teams for their enthusiasm and engagement throughout the evaluation process.
However, despite the celebratory atmosphere surrounding Andretti’s approval, there remains a sense of cautious optimism. The final decision still lies in the hands of the Formula One Management. Prominent figures in the existing F1 teams, such as Toto Wolff, have underscored the paramount importance of stringent verification. The goal is to ensure that any new entrant not only joins the grid but also enhances the sport’s vibrancy and appeal.