DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Michael Andretti has filed an application to field a Formula One team starting in 2024.
The filing to the FIA, the governing body of F1, was revealed Friday on Twitter by Andretti's father, Mario. The 1978 F1 champion wrote “Andretti Global has the resources and checks every box. He is awaiting the FIA's determination.”
Andretti Autosport initially declined to comment on Mario Andretti's post. The team then reversed its position and confirmed an application had been submitted to the FIA. No further details were revealed.
Mario Andretti has openly backed his son's efforts to expand the racing organization and enter the top motorsports series in the world. Michael Andretti drove one season in F1 in 1993.
Mario Andretti is second on IndyCar's career wins list, and Michael Andretti is fourth. Michael Andretti currently owns teams competing in IndyCar, IMSA, Formula E and Extreme E. The IndyCar season opens next weekend.
Michael Andretti tried last year to purchase the existing Alfa Romeo team and bring American driver Colton Herta to F1. But the deal fell apart in a disagreement over what Andretti called “control issues." The application for a team filed directly to the FIA could speed up his attempts to enter the series.
Herta, who turns 22 next month, is expected to contend for the IndyCar championship this season. He wants to at least try F1 and that was his original career path until he returned from Europe ahead of the 2017 season.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to do Formula One,” Herta said last month. “I think people forget that I’m 21 years old and I can come back in five years and still run 15 years in IndyCar and be 40. So I’d definitely want to give it a crack if I get the opportunity.
“But I’m definitely not disappointed at all in IndyCar. I like this series more than any series in the world and I enjoy racing in a it a lot.”
Herta has six career wins over three seasons and finished third in the 2020 season standings. He was fifth last season and is the defending winner on the streets of St. Petersburg, where IndyCar opens next Sunday.
Herta drove the closing leg on the winning class entry last month in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, then traveled to Sweden to compete alongside Jimmie Johnson for the United States in the Race of Champions. The duo finished a surprising second.
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