Andretti has Renault F1 power unit agreement
By Mat Coch
Sunday 27th February, 2022 - 3:29pm
Michael Andretti’s bid to join the Formula 1 grid has moved a step forward after Mario Andretti announced his son has a power unit agreement with Renault.
Last week, Andretti Snr announced on social media that his son had submitted an entry to the FIA for a berth on the 2024 F1 grid.
Few other details were available, however the 1978 world champion has now provided further insight.
“We have a formal agreement now on the engine supplier and it’s out there, it’s going to be Renault and I’m allowed to say it now,” he told motorsport YouTuber David Land.
“There was a lot of speculation from Toto Wolff, he was concerned about potentially it being Ferrari, meaning Ferrari would have more votes than he would have and so forth.”
Wolff’s concern relates to the governance of the sport, and the influence power unit manufacturers wield in some forums.
There have been concerns raised that teams are voting along party lines with their engine suppliers rather than in their own best interests.
Ferrari currently has relationships with Alfa Romeo Sauber and Haas, effectively giving it three votes at the table.
Mercedes has four, with customers in McLaren, Aston Martin, and Williams, while Red Bull Powertrains (formerly Honda) has Red Bull and Scuderia AlphaTauri.
The odd one out is Renault, which supplies only Alpine, which is in actually just the factory team by another name
However, a power unit deal in isolation is far from the sole requirement to join F1, with Andretti Snr branding the project a “quantum leap”.
“There’s a lot of steps to take here and I understand that,” he said.
“It’s a huge undertaking, but we’re ready for it. We have incredible partners on our side, Michael does, and we’re there for the duration.
“Myself, I’ve been at it for 67 years now, so we know what goes on on all sides of the Atlantic and this is a great undertaking, a wonderful undertaking on Michael’s part.
“This shows that he’s very, very ambitious in the sport. That’s his business, period.
“We live and breathe motor racing, and he’s at the age now that he has to make the quantum leap, if you will, to be able to give it at least 20, 25 years, a good 25 years in a business, and that’s it, so we’re all in and we’re ready to go.
“We know the prerequisites, also there’s a time factor here… once we’ve said ‘go ahead’, we’ve got to go.”
But while there’s much still to do before the squad comes close to reality, a number of key items have already been checked off.
“We know where the facility is going to be built in the UK,” Andretti Snr said.
“We know we have people, prominent individuals that have done this type of work as far as start-ups. We have a lot of things in mind.”
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