Michael Andretti anticipates learning whether his company will be granted a Formula One entry “in the next couple weeks.”
The American has long been linked with a move into the sport’s top division, and was in talks last year to buy what is now the Alfa Romeo Sauber operation.
That fell through, and the Hinwil-based operation has since partnered with Audi to run its factory team beginning in 2026.
Meanwhile, Andretti has faced an uphill battle in getting an F1 operation off the ground.
He has received little public support for the project from within the paddock, but has the personal support of FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
Andretti broke ground last week on a massive new facility in Indianapolis that he hopes will one day house his entire racing program.
When it opens, the facility will house the IndyCar and IMSA programs, as well as global commercial functions for its Formula E and Extreme E operations.
However, there is potential for this to increase in the future.
“This isn’t about IndyCar,” Andretti said at the time.
“We want to do something never done before with this.”
“We want to be in everything from Le Mans to Monaco to the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500.” And, in the future, we hope to have everything under one roof.
“That’s our big goal, and we’re working on a lot of plans to get there.”
The current commercial model is the most significant impediment to Andretti’s expansion into F1.
One of the most important considerations is how prize money is distributed among current competitors.
Changes in recent years have made that split more equitable than it has ever been, but it is still divided among ten teams.
With the addition of Andretti, that pot would be divided by 11, resulting in a reduction in prize money payments to the current Formula 1 operations.
As a result, teams are hesitant to support any newcomer.
There is a provision in place that requires a $200 million anti-dilution fee if a new entrant is accepted into the championship. That, however, is a one-time payment.
Andretti is said to have secured sufficient funding to launch its Formula One team, which Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff has estimated will cost $1 billion.
Andretti thanked Mark Walter, CEO of Guggenheim Partners, at the groundbreaking of his team’s new facility. Guggenheim Partners manages more than $282 billion in assets.
Walter is reportedly worth more than $5 billion and was one of the investors in the Chelsea Football Club earlier this year.
It’s unclear where Andretti’s application stands, but the American hopes to hear something before Christmas.
“We’re hoping within the next few weeks.” “That would make a great Christmas present,” he said.
Dan Towriss, CEO of Group 1001, which owns Gainbridge, a major sponsor of Andretti Autosport, provided additional information.
“We’re optimistic about the plans and what this means for our future,” Towriss said.
“These plans go far beyond a facility, and those are the ones we want them to see.”
“I think a lot of the time, the quotes that are pulled out [about the operation’s F1 entry] don’t really tell the whole story.”
“There are many conversations going on, and we’re not trying to get ahead of anything or use the media to influence anything.”
“They have an expectation of how people should approach and deal with them, and we respect that.”