Andretti should buy an existing team, say rival teams

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Red Bull team boss Christian Horner suggested that Andretti should buy an existing outfit if it wants to join Formula One, following the path that Audi has opted for with the Sauber organisation.

Andretti Global has been working on joining Formula One. The organisation, which has been headed by former McLaren driver Michael Andretti and his father Mario, the 1978 world champion, has already established its F1 based, started hiring personnel and secured an engine deal with Cadillac.

Andretti's bid had passed through the initial approval processes set out by the FIA which was then followed by FOM's own process. After a throughout analysis, the sport's commercial rights holder has elected to reject Andretti's bid to join the grid as an 11th team in the 2025 or 2026 seasons.

Speaking whether the sport would welcome Andretti and Cadillac on the grid, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said: "Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think Andretti has great racing heritage.

"Mario is a legend of the sport. And of course, Cadillac, a huge automotive manufacturer from the US. I think Formula 1 have said in 2028, if they were to come with their own engine, they would obviously, I think, review it.

"But in addition to that, I think that if Andretti were to want to come, a little like Audi acquired Sauber, I think to protect the current franchise and stability that we have in the sport, then obviously their best route to goal is to acquire one of the existing teams.

Kick Sauber team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi agreed with Horner, claiming that I "fully agree with Christian. I think that Audi shows the right path to come to Formula 1. Of course, Cadillac is a big player and it qualifies this project as a potentially good project.

"But there is a way that is to buy into an existing team. And I think that the process put in place by Formula 1 is a clear one. Very robust project. So I think that they know which could be the way."

Sharing this view, Alpine team boss Bruno Famin added: "Yeah, I think we're all on the same line. Big name, Andretti, Cadillac, but we have to be very careful not to dilute and to preserve the value of the championship and for the teams as well.

"There are two ways, they buy a team or they bring enough value to the championship to compensate. But I think it's the same story from the very beginning, I think."

It has emerged that U.S. Senators have stepped in following Formula 1's decision to reject Andretti-Cadillac's bid to join the grid in 2025 or 2026. Horner said he is surprised Andretti has gone to the U.S. Congress in a bid to overturn F1's decision.

"Look, I mean, we're US-owned. We have five Fortune 500 companies on our car. I think that this isn't about anything to do with Andretti being American or anything like that. I think it's purely down to the business model that is Formula 1.

"I mean, I remember not so long ago that there would always be two teams at the tail end of the grid needing to be bailed out or being technically insolvent.

"We finally got into a position where there's great strength and health in Formula 1 and Liberty have to be congratulated for that because they've created a model where even the worst team in Formula 1 probably has a billion-dollar valuation and you know Liberty have created that model.

"I think the approach that they bought by opening the sport as well and bringing a new fandom and new fans into the sports, they have to be commended on and I was surprised to see that Andretti have gone down this process but hopefully if they really want to find a way onto the grid they will find it and but I think the most natural solution is for them to acquire an existing franchise should one want to sell," concluded Horner.

Famin states that the sport has followed the right process to assess Andretti's bid: "I think, as we've mentioned before, there are very clear procedures. The FIA has done a technical analysis.

"Formula 1 has then analysed the commercial potential, and that's sort of, I think, the environment we are currently dealing with. And I certainly believe that, you know, the sport has done a lot to reach out to the United States.

"You know, we have three races in the U.S. We have two American sponsors. So I think the sport as a whole is embracing the United States, but has nothing to do with what we've just heard," Famin said.