2025 may see the expansion of the Formula One grid as we know it, with the inclusion of an additional team. Michael Andretti, the founder of Andretti Global and son of legendary driver Mario Andretti, could see his team join the paddock. According to F1 regulations, the grid can have a maximum of 26 cars at any time. Since 2016, there have been 10 teams and only 20 drivers. With expressions of interest from seven different bidders for a place on the grid, F1 management might be ready to welcome a new team to the paddock.
While 7 teams applied for a chance to enter F1, companies Hitech, LKYSUNZ, and Rodin Carlin were unsuccessful after their first round application, labeled the "preliminary expression of interest," which required a $20,000 application fee. Teams admitted for the next round of proceedings were asked to submit $280,000 to demonstrate their seriousness. Businessmen Calvin Lo, Craig Pollock, and company Panthera dropped out of the application process not long after. Consequently, Andretti Global, backed by manufacturers Cadillac and General Motors, became the last team standing.
However, everything is still being determined, and the Andretti family will experience more resistance on the road ahead. In June, Stefano Domenicali, CEO of F1, told reporters, "I think 10 teams are more than enough to create the show, the business, and the attention that we want to see on the track." Many current F1 teams are resistant to the prospect of an expanded grid, guided by concerns that the prize money at the end of each season will be significantly diluted. Mercedes CEO and Principal Toto Wolff told reporters last year, "We divide the prize fund amongst those 10 entries. We have invested considerable amounts over the last 10 years. Each of the organizations that are sitting here on the podium has probably put more than a billion into their F1 projects over the years."
Given the increased interest in F1, many believe including another American team and Haas Racing could globalize the sport even more. While the future of Andretti Global's inclusion in F1 is uncertain, the only sure thing is fans would welcome two more skilled racing drivers to the grid.