Andretti disputes specfic F1 rejection claims

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Andretti Cadillac has hit back over two specific claims made by Formula 1 in its published decision not to accept a bid by the American team to join the F1 grid in 2025/26.

The application had been accepted by the sport's governing body, the FIA, but this week was vetoed by formula 1 itself, the commercial rights holders owned and run by Liberty Media.

A 20-point explanation focused on concerns that Andretti could not be competitive and would therefore add no value to the sport, as well as the initial lack of a engine partner until Cadillac is ready in 2028.

“We do not believe there is a basis for any new applicant to be admitted in 2025 given that this would involve a novice entrant building two completely different cars in its first two years of existence," said the statement.

“The fact that the applicant proposes to do so gives us reason to question their understanding of the scope of the challenge involved," it aded.

Andretti insists it would be ready to race in 2025 while admitting that the four month delay since the FIA ruling had led it to focus more on 2026. But Formula 1 says that 2028 would be the earliest date for a possible entry.

“The FIA approved our application, with no specific limitation on whether the entry was for 2025 or 2026," Andretti pointed out in a response issued on Friday.

“Andretti Cadillac has been operating with 2026 as the year of entry for many months now," it continued. “The technicality of 2025 still being part of the application is a result of the length of this process.”

Formula 1 had also complained that Michael Andretti had not responded to an invitation to a meeting to discuss the application, citing this as evidence that Andretti was not serious about engaging with Formula 1 on the application..

Subsequent reports said that Formula 1's invitation had ended up in a spam folder on the Andretti email system, in part because it had been sent by an F1 employee rather than by F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

“We were not aware that the offer of a meeting had been extended and would not decline a meeting with Formula One Management,” the statement said.

“An in-person meeting to discuss commercial matters would be and remains of paramount importance to Andretti Cadillac," it added.

“We welcome the opportunity to meet with Formula One Management and have written to them confirming our interest.”

The team insists that despite this week's formal rejection, "work continues at pace" at the Andretti factory and headquarters on its preparations to race in Formula 1.

While Formula 1's decision to reject Andretti's application appears definitive for now, the sport has indicated that it might reconsider for a spot in 2028 once Cadillac has developed its engine.

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