Andretti seeking to 'pave the way' to F1 for American drivers


Michael Andretti says his team's endeavor into Formula 1 would provide young American drivers with a long-awaited "legitimate" path to the pinnacle of motorsport.

Andretti Global, the entity set up by the American team owner to tackle F1, is still waiting on the FIA to green light its entry process, the first stage to a potential acceptance of the US outfit into F1.

But Formula 1 itself, through the voice of its chief executive Stefano Domenicali, has expressed its reticence in accepting Andretti Global into its ranks as an eleventh team on the grid, as the latter's presence would potentially dilute the portion of revenue shared by the teams.

As he waits for the FIA's consent, Michael Andretti is moving forward with his plans to join the grid, and a key element of his Grand Prix ambitions is to establish his team as a direct pipeline to F1 for young American talent.

"We want to be an American team that allows American drivers to develop in the future," said Andretti, quoted by

"There’s nobody out there doing that. That’s where we want to be. There is no legitimate way for an American driver to get into F1. There just isn’t. We want to pave the way to F1."

The last American driver to race in F1 was IndyCar star Alexander Rossi who competed in five races with Manor Marussia in 2015.

As for the last Grand Prix winner hailing from the United States, cue Mario Andretti at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort all the way back in 1978.

Last year, Andretti's efforts to acquire a controlling interest in Sauber/Alfa Romeo were unsuccessful.

But had he managed to close the deal with the Swiss outfit, he made no mystery of his intention to move Andretti Autosport's Colton Herta to F1.

The once McLaren F1 driver still sees Herta - who is set to test with McLaren later this year - as America's brightest prospect for F1.

"He should be in F1 right now, he has that talent, but [his backers] ran out of money, so they came back to the US and he went the [American] way," said Andretti.

"I want to make sure we can get kids out of karting and open the door for them and if they are good enough, hopefully they can go to Formula 1 and we will have the team to do that – there will be that legitimate deal."

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