Martin Brundle Voices Concern Over Andretti and FIA Silence

Martin Brundle expresses his astonishment at the lack of communication from the FIA and Andretti following the denial of the team's F1 entry.

Ben

By Ben Bush
Published on February 28, 2024

Andretti and Cadillac F1 Logo

Over the past year, Andretti has been vigorously pursuing entry into F1, collaborating with the legendary General Motors brand Cadillac – which had pledged to supply engines starting in 2028 – to present a compelling bid.

Although the FIA approved their proposal last October, the commercial rights holders of the sport dismissed Andretti’s application in January. They contended that the American team would not significantly enhance F1’s value. This decision came as a surprise, especially considering the strong partnership and ambitious plans laid out by Andretti and Cadillac.

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Martin Brundle surprised by lack of response from FIA and Andretti

Brundle is surprised by the quiet resolution of the situation in recent times, emphasising his wish to see an additional team join the F1 lineup.

Speaking on the Sky F1 podcast, he mentioned: “It’s all been very quiet.

“Formula 1 put a three pager [statement] out that was very well written, Andretti came back a little bit and said: ‘We weren’t aiming at ’25 with yet another new car for 2026, we were actually aiming at 2026 and we didn’t get the invitation – it got lost in spam – to go to the presentation in December’ – which seems all a little bit odd.

“I’m very surprised we haven’t heard anything from the FIA or really from Andretti since that decision was made.

“I would personally like to see an 11th and even a 12th team on the grid. It’s another two team managers to speak to and another four drivers and for cars to look at.

“For example, if you have a massive first-corner shunt somewhere you lose six or seven cars, so I think the show could do with it. Nothing to do with Andretti in that respect.

“I understand why a lot of the teams in Formula 1 were like: ‘No, we don’t want to share the pie out anymore, we’re quite happy with 20 cars, our pit lane is full of all the things that go on in the pit lane including hospitality and what have you whether it’s [the] Brad Pitt movie or whatever.’

“So they certainly didn’t need it and they think that Andretti, with the customer engine, won’t really be bringing anything to Formula 1 – it’ll take more than it’ll give.

“So whether they’re regrouping quietly for anti-trust laws or anti-competition laws in the EU, I don’t know, but it all it all seems to have gone away very easily.”

Brundle cautions F1 against resting on its laurels amidst its surge in popularity, using the story of Force India‘s financial struggles in July 2018 as a reminder of how quickly fortunes can change in the sport.

The team, once in jeopardy, was saved by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who transformed the Silverstone-based team into the competitive force now known as Aston Martin.

Brundle went on to say: “Andretti is a massive name in America, of course, but I think Formula 1 mustn’t be too confident. You’ve got to think a little bit longer term.

“And I’ll give you [a story from] just a short while ago: Force India was about to collapse, everybody losing their jobs, the team at Silverstone evaporating, going broke.

“And that’s turned into the incredible investment that Lawrence Stroll has made and others at Aston Martin.

“There are a number of other teams that were pretty shaky four or five years ago, let’s be honest.

“And we’re now sitting with this magnificent position we find ourselves in, where all the teams are solvent and doing good business and looking pretty professional.

“But let’s not assume it’s always going to stay that way.

“What goes around comes around on that, so I think we need to think long and hard about having some more credible teams available.”

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush
Ben

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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