FEBRUARY 5, 2024

Former driver slams F1 for Andretti-Cadillac rejection

Spanish racing driver Oriol Servia has slammed Formula 1 for rejecting Andretti-Cadillac's FIA-approved bid to enter the sport.

Start, Mexican GP 2023
© Red Bull

In its lengthy statement explaining the decision to block Andretti's debut, the Liberty Media-owned Formula One Group mentioned that team officials actually turned down one particular offer of a meeting in London.

Andretti has now hit back, claiming the invitation went into an email spam folder.

We were not aware that the offer of a meeting had been extended and would not decline a meeting with Formula One Management, the US-based outfit insisted.

An in-person meeting to discuss commercial matters would be and remains of paramount importance to Andretti-Cadillac, Andretti added. We welcome the opportunity to meet with Formula One Management and have written to them confirming our interest.

F1 had also questioned Andretti's understanding of the sport by declaring that the goal of debuting in 2025 whilst also building a radically-different car for the new rules in 2026 was not realistic.

Andretti hit back: (We have) been operating with 2026 as the year of entry for many months now. The technicality of 2025 still being part of the application is a result of the length of this process.

Spaniard Servia, best known for his former Indycar career, blasted Formula 1 for stringing Andretti-Cadillac along in the application process for so long.

I'm sure the decision about the eleventh team was much more difficult than many may think, he told the Spanish sports daily Marca, but still the arguments that Formula 1 gave, in my opinion, were pathetic and insulting.

Servia said Andretti proved its competence to enter F1 through the approved FIA process, and could also boast three generations of the Andretti family achieving success in motorsports.

It's hard to argue that Mario and Michael are not part of the foundation of where F1 is today. And I think they've won a few things in every championship they've ever participated in, he added, sarcastically.

I especially didn't like when FOM said the new team would bring more to Michael Andretti himself than to Formula 1, he added. "Since when it this a game of who benefits more?

"The essence of motorsport is about competing, trying to beat others with any means you can and creating a good show for the fans.

In my opinion, the leadership of the championship should first of all focus on how to benefit the sport as a whole.