Martin Brundle shocked by the silence after Andretti F1 entry bid was rejected

Martin Brundle shocked by the silence after Andretti F1 entry bid was rejected

Martin Brundle has acknowledged that the silence from the FIA and Andretti after the American team’s F1 entry bid was rejected last month has left him very surprised.

Sky F1 Pundit Martin Brundle is shocked by Andretti and the FIA’s silence following the rejection of the American team and Cadillac’s entry in F1 which the governing body wholeheartedly supported.

Over the past 12 months, Andretti has worked extremely hard to secure an F1 entry teaming up with the reputable General Motors brand Cadillac, which had even committed to begin supplying engines in 2028, to present an appealing proposal to join the grid as an 11th team.

Andretti—whose motorsports enterprise includes teams competing in the Australian V8 Supercars and Formula E championships—has declared their intention of running in F1 since 2021. The team initially attempted to take over the Sauber team and the deal was only a few days away from being finalized before it fell through because of “control issues.”

The American racing team declared at the beginning of 2022 that they intended to join the F1 grid as a 11th team and use Renault power units in their first grand prix race.

Andretti’s F1 entry bid later received a major boost with backing from General Motors through their Cadillac brand. Additionally, the massive American automaker would develop its powertrain, which would likely be ready for the 2028 season.

However, the sport’s commercial rights holder denied Andretti’s application in January, claiming the American team would not add much value to F1, even though the FIA had approved the application in October of last year.

In a lengthy statement, the sport detailed all the reasons why it rejected the bid, with F1’s fear that Andretti Cadillac wouldn’t be competitive being one of its primary concerns.

Martin Brundle is shocked by how the topic has quieted down in recent weeks as he expressed his wish to see at least one more team on the grid.

“It’s all been very quiet,” said the Sky F1 pundit. “Formula 1 put a three pager [statement] out that was very well written.

“Andretti came back a little bit and said: ‘We weren’t aiming at ’25 with yet another new car for 2026, we were actually aiming at 2026 and we didn’t get the invitation – it got lost in spam – to go to the presentation in December’ – which seems all a little bit odd.

“I’m very surprised we haven’t heard anything from the FIA or really from Andretti since that decision was made.

“I would personally like to see an 11th and even a 12th team on the grid. It’s another two team managers to speak to and another four drivers and for cars to look at.

“For example, if you have a massive first-corner shunt somewhere you lose six or seven cars, so I think the show could do with it. Nothing to do with Andretti in that respect.

“I understand why a lot of the teams in Formula 1 were like: ‘No, we don’t want to share the pie out anymore, we’re quite happy with 20 cars, our pit lane is full of all the things that go on in the pit lane including hospitality and what have you whether it’s [the] Brad Pitt movie or whatever.’

“So they certainly didn’t need it and they think that Andretti, with the customer engine, won’t really be bringing anything to Formula 1 – it’ll take more than it’ll give.

“So whether they’re regrouping quietly for anti-trust laws or anti-competition laws in the EU, I don’t know, but it all it all seems to have gone away very easily.”

Brundle has cautioned against F1 growing comfortable amid its current popularity rise using the tale of Force India, which went into administration in July 2018, as proof that the sport’s nature was significantly different just a few years ago.

Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll rescued Force India and went on to turn the Silverstone-based team (now called Aston Martin) into one of the best teams in the grid.

“Andretti is a massive name in America, of course, but I think Formula 1 mustn’t be too confident,” Brundle said. “You’ve got to think a little bit longer term.

“I’ll give you [a story from] just a short while ago; Force India was about to collapse, everybody losing their jobs, the team at Silverstone evaporating, going broke. And that’s turned into the incredible investment that Lawrence Stroll has made and others at Aston Martin.

“There are a number of other teams that were pretty shaky four or five years ago, let’s be honest and we’re now sitting with this magnificent position we find ourselves in, where all the teams are solvent and doing good business and looking pretty professional.

“But let’s not assume it’s always going to stay that way. What goes around comes around on that, so I think we need to think long and hard about having some more credible teams available.”

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