Michael Andretti, owner of successful IndyCar team Andretti Autosport, is looking to return to Formula One, this time as a team owner rather than driver.
An Andretti return to F1 has been rumored for years but somewhat official news finally came late last week via a tweet from Andretti's father, Mario, won the F1 world championship with Lotus in 1978.
He tweeted that his son has applied to the FIA regarding fielding a new team from 2024. He also said in the tweet that his son's potential entry, Andretti Global, has met all the requirements and has the necessary resources, and is now waiting to hear back from the FIA.
Michael has applied to the FIA to field a new F1 team starting in 2024. His entry, Andretti Global, has the resources and checks every box. He is awaiting the FIA's determination.— Mario Andretti (@MarioAndretti) February 18, 2022
There are currently 10 teams in F1, so the Andretti team would potentially be an 11th entry. The rules allow for up to 13 teams.
F1 isn't exactly a sport one enters without significant financial resources. However, both Michael and Mario Andretti established a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Andretti Acquisition, which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in January and raised approximately $200 million in the process.
Racer reported last summer that Michael Andretti had been actively pursuing the acquisition of an F1 team. Haas, owned by fellow American Gene Haas, was specifically mentioned in the report, along with Alfa Romeo and Williams. However, given Mario Andretti's tweet, it now looks like Michael Andretti is keen to launch his own team.
Launching an F1 team could be a shrewd move for Michael and Mario Andretti, and their Andretti Autosport team, at a time when the series is expanding its presence in the U.S. with a second local race, the Miami Grand Prix, joining the calendar from 2022. They could even field an American driver, such as Colton Herta, who drives for Andretti's IndyCar team and has been rumored as a future F1 driver.