“I’m optimistic”: Why Mario Andretti isn’t ready to give up on his F1 dream

The 1978 world champion and his son are disappointed that their proposal to start an F1 team was rejected, but they’re still hopeful.

Mario Andretti, the former F1 world champion and arguably the most successful driver in U.S. history, is certainly feeling relaxed in the paddock at this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix. With Lotus he won the 1978 F1 championship and four IndyCar titles. The 84-year-old won the Indy 500 and Daytona 500 and was named American Driver of the Year for the first time in 30 years. Even though I was chosen, I still enjoy immersing myself in this world. His joy at the sport and its resurgence in his home country is clear. Andretti also wants to make F1 his home, but as his family tries to launch a new team in the sports market, he becomes frustrated and disillusioned with himself and the family business just as he had been on the right track. I decided to fight for this. He was fascinated by F1 from the age of 14 after watching Alberto Ascari at Monza in 1954, and in 1955 the war forced his Italian family to emigrate to the United States with his father. Andretti realized his dream in the small town of Monza. Nazareth, Pennsylvania was in the heyday of Formula 1 when the sport was very popular in the United States. Son Michael has since founded the family’s eponymous racing team, which has competed in a variety of series and achieved great success last year with numerous victories in the Indy 500, IndyCar Championship and FIA Formula E title. . contained. Michael was enthusiastic about Mario and encouraged him to join F1 and applied. General Motors will supply Cadillac-branded engines to the team starting in 2028. Of the four entries received by the FIA ​​in October last year, Andretti was the only one approved as eligible to enter F1. However, this attempt also required approval from F1’s owner, the F1 Management Team (FOM). In January, F1 ruled against Andretti’s bid for either 2025 or 2026, saying in a lengthy explanation that the No. 11 team had enough value to cover the disruption his arrival would cause. Ta. “You can’t add F1 to the sport,” he said, referring to Andretti’s position. Andretti 1 adds value to the brand, not the other way around. He also expressed concern that teams will have a particularly hard time competing with customer engines until 2028, when GM enters the fold, and that the challenges facing powertrains from new group manufacturers will be significant. However, they are leaving the door open for a possible 2028 entry. Sitting in Miami as the United States basks in F1’s success on home turf, Andretti remains as resourceful and passionate as ever, unashamed to admit how difficult F1 is. He said the decision was “to say the least… It was also depressing.” “And at the same time, he does not entirely agree with Formula 1’s statements. “Any team that guarantees a competitive advantage is good,” he says. “It would be foolish to come in tomorrow and think we’ll definitely be competitive. I wish they could guarantee that. But what, in your opinion, awaits us? The goal is to be competitive. Do you think they are here to sit down and be happy? No, we have never done that in our lives, look at our files. “Are they saying we’re not worthy? Well, at the same time we want to do what we can.”

F1’s decision disappointed many observers who had welcomed an 11th team to motor racing’s tradition. Ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, 12 bipartisan members of the US Congress sent a letter to F1 asking a series of questions about whether the FOM’s decision breached anti-competition rules, opening the debate to wider society. your.

Andretti hopes F1 will provide more concrete evidence for his claims, but it’s a real shame. “We did everything we had to do to satisfy the FIA, but when it fell into the hands of FOM for some reason we encountered some resistance,” he says. “The biggest problem is that there’s nothing concrete that says, ‘If you do this, you can participate.’ That’s the problem. I hope and pray that one reason will prevail.

One theory that has been put forward is that he is talking about the year 2028. This is because the entry into 2028 will take place after the conclusion of the new Concorde Agreement, a deal between FOM, the owner of F1\’s commercial rights, and the teams. The current contract imposes an entry fee or anti-dilution fee of $200 million to compensate new teams; under the new contract, the new deal would be $600 million or more to better reflect the team\’s value. Amounts may increase. This time it’s F1. team. This will probably satisfy other teams as well.

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