Michael Andretti is currently busy building his own Formula 1 team, with which he intends to be the eleventh team by 2024. The formation of Andretti Global is his second attempt to break into F1 after a last-minute botched takeover by Sauber last year. While waiting for the green light to participate, Andretti was in the paddock during the Miami GP to speak with the FIA, F1 and other team bosses. However, they continue to react coldly to his attempts to create an American F1 racing team, mainly over concerns about prize money distribution and fears of disrupting the current stability of ten teams.
For example, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes that Formula 1 would benefit more from an American driver than a second American team if it wants to expand the sport in the United States. Andretti disagrees because there are no teams that will give the Americans the chance. The former F1 driver wants to change that. “We want to be an American team that wants to develop American drivers for the future. Nobody is doing that at the moment, but that’s what we want to be,” he says, describing his intentions. “For an American driver there is no real way into Formula 1, there just isn’t. We want to pave the way to Formula 1.”
It seems almost certain that Colton Herta should become one of Andretti Global’s drivers in Formula 1. The IndyCar driver was already in the picture when the Sauber takeover failed and, according to Andretti, he deserved a chance. “He should be driving in Formula 1 now. He has the talent but was short on cash so he returned to the US. He followed the American route there,” he says. “I want to do it in such a way that we can give kids a way out of karting that – if they’re good enough – will hopefully get them into Formula 1 and have a team, that they can do it with. Then we know they have a real chance.”