Yesterday, Mario Andretti announced that his son Michael had put an application in to open a brand new Formula 1 team called Andretti Global in 2024. In interviews with the Indianapolis Star and RACER earlier today, he revealed significant details of the program's plans if that application does get approved.
Most importantly, Andretti confirmed to RACER that his son's program has all of its funding in place already. That includes a potential $200 million one-time fee to join the grid if the application is approved, something the elder Andretti expects the team to be ready for without "asking for any special favors." While the exact details of the program's funding have not been revealed, insurance holdings company Group 1001 CEO Dan Towriss is named as one of the enterprise's partners by the Star. That group's company Gainbridge, a major sponsor of both the team's IndyCar program and the upcoming F1 race in Miami, is not part of that partnership.
In addition to the funding, Andretti also revealed that some logistical plans are already in place. The team will do some work out of Indiana, with a separate facility in England to facilitate travel and development throughout a European-focused schedule. An engine supplier has apparently already been found, too, but the 1978 F1 champion would not reveal who that partner could be.
Driving talent was the last major point discussed by Andretti, and, while that is still fluid with more than two years before a potential 2024 debut, his expectation is that the program will include at least one American. He names Colton Herta, the driver Andretti hoped to place at another team when he had hoped to purchase Sauber last offseason, as the most likely candidate. Herta, 21, has six wins and no championship finish worse than seventh in his brief IndyCar career.
The ambitious plan is now in the hands of the FIA, who will begin the process of deciding whether or not Andretti Global ever comes to fruition. If their plans are approved, the team could be on track for the 2024 season.