Andretti wins FIA approval of bid to enter F1 as 11th team

Michael Andretti's bid to join the Formula One championship has been forwarded to the commercial rights holders after being approved by the sport's global governing body on Monday.

Andretti, who began a partnership with General Motors' brand Cadillac in January, is the only applicant that the International Automobile Federation (FIA) passed on to the next stage of evaluations from a total of four bidders.

File photo of Michael Andretti. /CFP
File photo of Michael Andretti. /CFP

File photo of Michael Andretti. /CFP

"Andretti Formula Racing LLC was the only entity which fulfils the selection criteria that was set in all material respects. I congratulate Michael Andretti and his team on a thorough submission," said FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

Liberty Media, who control the sport's commercial rights, said they will now conduct their own assessment of "the merits of the remaining application."

The FIA launched the expansion process looking for one or more new teams in February this year, to which the current 10 teams hold a reserved attitude. For them, it remains questionable whether the U.S.$200 million entry fee of a new team, which will be shared evenly among the 10, is enough to compensate the total revenue being diluted.

It is also unclear which year Andretti's team will make their debut, given they are further green-lighted to obtain the qualification. But it will be no sooner than 2025, as the current 'Concorde Agreement' between the commercial rights holder, teams and FIA, will only expire by the end of 2025.

Andretti, the 1991 CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) champion as well as son of 1978 Formula One world champion Mario, is looking to register a U.S.-owned team with at least one American driver competing.

General Motors, as an engine supplier, will be under scrutiny in the evaluation process as the big three Detroit car makers are hit by United Auto Workers union strikes, while the FIA had stressed that the approval was granted to Michael Andretti, not General Motors.

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