F1 boss offers Andretti update

F1 boss Stefano Domenicali has offered an update on the Andretti F1 bid. Image: Batchelor / XPB Images

F1 boss Stefano Domenicali has offered an update on the Andretti F1 bid. Image: Batchelor / XPB Images

F1 boss Stefano Domenicali has offered an update on the process the sport is working through before deciding on whether to allow Andretti onto the grid.

The FIA completed its own assessment of the American operation and announced that it was the only one of four applications to progress to the next phase.

That is another assessment, this time carried out by F1 itself.

Where the FIA looked specifically at Andretti and its ability to deliver a competitive F1 operation, the sport’s commercial rights holder are taking a broader approach.

“This is a process that is in place,” Domenicali noted in a call with market analysis off the back of Liberty Media’s Q3 earnings announcement.

“As always, we don’t have to give any anticipation.

“The FIA did its right role of doing its first assessment and now we’re in the process of doing our assessment on the commercial, marketing side.

“As soon as this process will be finished, of course we will inform everyone accordingly – first of all of course sharing this info in the first instance with the FIA.”

The addition of Andretti to the F1 grid has been divisive within the paddock.

While the likes of McLaren, where Zak Brown has a business relationship with Michael Andretti, are in favour, others are vehemently against.

Arguments have typically centred on the financial implications of an additional team, with the incumbents noting the reduction in prize money they’d be entitled to.

While precise figures are difficult to glean due to the secretive nature of the Concorde Agreement, the covenant which governs the sport’s commercial interest, analysis has suggested their concern is overstated.

Another concern is that allowing a new team onto the grid diminishes the value of the existing franchises, which have soared in recent years following the introduction of financial regulations.

However, that ignores the fact that, under the Concorde Agreement, there are provisions for 12 teams. Any reasonable market valuation of the existing teams should therefore have taken that into account.

Meanwhile, Andretti has already begun testing a current-spec car in the wind tunnel despite not yet having a place on the grid.

There is no timeframe for F1 to complete its assessment though the squad has expressed its hope to be racing in 2025.

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