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Formula One announced Wednesday that it has rejected Andretti Global's application to field an F1 team beginning in 2025 or 2026, stating that it did not believe the Michael Andretti-owned team would be a competitive one nor would it bring the necessary value to the series as a whole. According to RACER, the sanctioning body left the door open for an Andretti entry in 2028, when General Motors would have an F1 power unit ready for competition.

In their rationale for denying Andretti Global's bid for a United States-based F1 team, Formula One Management -- which has been opposed to expanding beyond 10 teams despite the FIA's approval of Andretti Formula Racing LLC last year -- claimed that it did not feel 2025 was a realistic target for the Andretti team to be ready and competitive. While there had been a deal in place for the Andretti team to initially race with Renault as its power unit supplier, there was a chance that the Andretti power unit supplier would be an "enforced" arrangement based on whichever supplier had the fewest customers for either 2026 or 2027.

They also went further in suggesting that the Andretti name would not add value to F1 -- even though family patriarch Mario Andretti was the 1978 F1 World Champion and had 12 career wins to his name.

"The need for any new team to take a compulsory power unit supply, potentially over a period of several seasons, would be damaging to the prestige and standing of the Championship," one of F1's conclusions read. "While the Andretti name carries some recognition for F1 fans, our research indicates that F1 would bring value to the Andretti brand rather than the other way around.

"The addition of an 11th team would place an operational burden on race promoters, would subject some of them to significant costs, and would reduce the technical, operational and commercial spaces of the other competitors," the statement added.

F1 leadership indicated that they would look upon an Andretti entry more favorably in 2028 when General Motors has registered to begin being a power unit supplier. GM, through its Cadillac brand, had signed on with Andretti Global in its attempt to join F1 after Andretti racing teams have already achieved great success in IndyCar, IMSA, V8 Supercars and even Formula E.

Despite F1's continued growth in the United States, the matter of American drivers and teams actually joining the series has remained a complicated and often contentious one. In 2022, for instance, the FIA blocked American driver and IndyCar star Colton Herta's attempt to join AlphaTauri on the basis that Herta -- despite extensive experience racing open-wheel cars in the U.S. -- lacked the points necessary for a super license required to race in F1.

F1's decision against the Andretti team Wednesday inflamed such feelings, with Graham Rahal -- son of former Indianapolis 500 champion and one-time F1 competitor Bobby Rahal -- recalling a post where he called Formula One an "elitist sport" only interested in the money of U.S. businesses and other wealthy Americans. In a post on his X account, Mario Andretti professed profound disappointment.

Mario Andretti made 128 F1 starts between 1968 and 1982, earning 12 career Grand Prix victories and winning the 1978 World Championship driving for JPS-Lotus. His son and Andretti Global team owner Michael Andretti also ran almost a full F1 season for McLaren in 1993, one widely remembered as a flop outside of a third-place finish in the Italian Grand Prix.

Presently, Haas F1 Team is the only U.S.-based team competing in Formula One, while Logan Sargeant of Williams is the lone American driver on the grid.