Home » Don’t Tell Me Andretti Isn’t Good Enough For F1 When Williams Can’t Even Field Two Cars

Don’t Tell Me Andretti Isn’t Good Enough For F1 When Williams Can’t Even Field Two Cars

Unworthy F1 Andretti Ts
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Ah, Formula 1. It’s the elite of the elite, the top tier of motorsports. It’s a place where money and dreams go to die, where only the storied few will ever bask in true glory. It’s so special, in fact, that the sport turned up its nose at the very idea of Andretti entering the sport early. No matter the experience, or the backing of industry heavyweight GM, Andretti wasn’t up to snuff yet. Meanwhile, the established legacy teams are making a mockery of the sport. It’s pathetic.

Last weekend saw the running of the Australian Grand Prix. It’s a great event on a quality street circuit and a huge local fanbase.

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However, this year’s race served as a backdrop to some painfully embarrassing scenes from teams that should know better. It’s all the more galling when a new team was told it would devalue the sport, when established teams are failing so publicly.

Sort Yourself Out

Williams driver Alex Albon kicked off festivities by punting his car into the wall in the first practice session. A pity, but it happens. In usual circumstances, the team would simply prepare the backup car for Albon to get him running for the following sessions and the race.

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That didn’t happen. Why? Because the Williams F1 team couldn’t field a spare car. They literally didn’t have one. A legacy team, 47 years old, with 114 race victories under its belt. Nine constructors championships and seven driver’s championships. And they don’t even have a spare chassis three races into the season.

Instead, the team told driver Logan Sargeant that he’d be giving up his car to Albon for the rest of the weekend. The wild move was made because Sargeant scored one point to Albon’s 27 points last year. It’s widely believed (though denied) that Sargeant retains his position by bringing a significant financial contribution to the team.

A storied team with great history, lowered to stealing a car from one driver to let another race. It’s little surprise, though. The team has been a mess for the better part of two decades. Recent revelations were that Williams never moved to a modern inventory management system until last year. Instead, it’s had technicians running around hunting for parts when the team’s hand-maintained Excel spreadsheet lost track of parts. You can’t make this stuff up. Things got so bad at one point that the team missed pre-season testing in 2019. New team head James Vowles called it “a joke.”

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Albon ultimately finished 11th in his teammate’s car. No points. 

Can you imagine this happening in the NFL? In the Premiere League? Oh, sorry, the Dallas Cowboys are a bit hard up for cash this week and can’t afford to fly the whole team over for the game. Can they get a do-over?

That doesn’t happen. But in F1, it does.

It wasn’t the only display of pathetic unpreparedness, either. Head down the field to the Stake F1 Team. The team boasts former race-winner Valtteri Bottas on its staff, along with Chinese racer Zhou Guanyu. With fancy new sponsors and a fresh new look for 2024, you might expect the team to be inching its way forward.

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Alas, no. Brilliant engineers and millions of dollars couldn’t sort out a decent set of wheel nuts. This saw Bottas suffer a 52-second pitstop at the Bahrain Grand Prix due to a cross-threading issue, and similar issues for Zhou.

But surely, the team solved this problem, lickedy-split, right? No, of course not! It’s only a team competing in the pinnacle series of motorsport. Sorting out functional wheel nuts is beyond them. The issue persisted through the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, and once again last weekend.

A fix? Simply unavailable! Instead, the team elected to ask their pit crew in Australia to slow down and take their time to minimize the chance of cross-threading any nuts.  Not that this helped. Bottas still suffered extended pitstops, ruining his chance at finishing in the points. As a bonus, the team fumbled a wheel nut, dropping it into the fast lane in the pits, scoring a €5000 fine in the process.

Not Good Enough?

Let’s examine how we got here. Because oh, what a moment F1 was having just a few years ago. Drive to Survive was pulling in buckets of new fans to the series, and 2021 saw a season like few in living memory. Drama reigned, tempers flared, and F1 was the hottest motorsport ticket out.

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F1 was hip and everyone wanted a piece. Even struggling teams were inflating in value. Not by virtue of any racing prowess or engineering talent, but simply because they were a part of the big show.

New teams would have to pay a $200 million “anti-dilution” fee to justify their inclusion in the sport.  Some sidestepped the issue entirely. Sauber (aka Stake F1 Team) managed to pull Audi into its orbit for 2026, while Ford inked a deal to supply Red Bull from the same year. These were mere commercial deals with existing interests, which allowed the automakers to join the sport with a simple partnership deal.

But Andretti went the whole hog. The veteran motorsports operation would stand up a truly American F1 team. Over the years Andretti pulled in engineering resources, started developing a car, and even managed to get GM to back the mammoth project. Questions like funding and ability were trifles, at best. If anyone could make a go of F1, Andretti could. It would certainly do no worse than the farcical efforts of HRT, Manor Marussia, and Caterham.

But in late 2023, F1 spat in Andretti’s face. Despite FIA approval, the new team’s application was rejected. The existing teams wouldn’t have it, and neither would F1’s rights holders. Andretti wouldn’t add value to the sport. They were concerned that Andretti wouldn’t be competitive and could damage F1’s reputation.

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Against the backdrop of the 2024 Australian Grand Prix, though, any argument F1 had against Andretti is meaningless. These long-established teams aren’t even meeting the bare minimum standards of competition.

To say that Andretti would devalue the sport is hilarious given how the existing players are doing. I’m pretty sure Andretti would figure out how to bolt the wheels on the car. I’m certain Andretti could field two cars in a full race weekend.

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The Andretti operation had already undertaken wind tunnel testing in preparation to join the sport from 2025 or 2026. 

Of course, we all know the real truth. There’s a selfishness in the establishment that doesn’t want to share the party with those seen as outsiders. Beyond that, teams don’t want to welcome a new well-resourced competitor that could spoil their chances at taking home a trophy.

Any fan can see through this nonsense, though. It’s simply not in the spirit of honest competition. Barring a team because you can’t measure up is petty and cheap.

F1’s existing team ought to pull their socks up. They’re embarrassing themselves and embarrassing the sport in the process. They need to show up to the grid prepared and ready to race. None of this missing testing and dropping out at the last minute business. That’s unacceptable at this level.

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Bottom line? Don’t tell me Andretti’s not good enough for F1 after what Williams pulled this week.

Image credits: Andretti Global, Formula 1 via YouTube screenshot

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FleetwoodBro
FleetwoodBro
29 days ago

I probably enjoy Formula One for some of the reasons it annoys you, and I apologize for that. The drama, the dysfunction, the billionaire bullies, the prima donna drivers, the outsized egos on team principals. It’s a bunch a crazy bastards who hate each other and makes for excellent theater. I admit it’s not really a sport in the classic sense. However, they are competing with each other at what I would call a psychopathic level. This past weekend, for instance, Alonso didn’t want to be passed by George Russell’s obviously quicker Mercedes, so what did he do on the last lap? Alonso, in a racecar, at race speed, (allegedly) brake checked Russell and caused him to crash. That’s like insane behavior. Who would do that? A crazy bastard, that’s who.

As far as Andretti, I mean, are they going to let him into the club? I don’t see it. Why would team owners want to give up tens of millions of dollars so he can get a piece? The USA audience has already taken to F1 without him. Are there enough people out there who won’t spend money on F1 until Michael Andretti is involved to move the needle? It’s a very simple equation for the teams: Will adding another team mean I make less money? If yes, then no.

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
29 days ago
Reply to  FleetwoodBro

The stewards agreed with you on Alonso and handed him a 20 second penalty. Telemetry showed he lifted early and then braked.

Gary Lynch
Gary Lynch
29 days ago

I despise what F1 has become. Haven’t had in interrest in decades. I loved the 60-70s versions when pretty much everyone could run. Thought it might improve when Bernie left. I was wrong.

Due to personal encounters back in the CART days, I’m not a Michael Andretti fan. But I do respect and admire what he has built as a car/ team owner, and would love to see him succeed in whatever he attempts.

lastly, RIP to John Andretti. One of my favorite drivers. Miss old school drives like John. Thank you for allowing my divergence.

Gary Lynch
Gary Lynch
29 days ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

I would be fine with allow anyone to show up. Just have a min qualifying criteria to keep the pond scum out of the races. The bar to qualify is pretty high, so it’s not a start and park series.

I suppose I can see the perspective of the other owners. Just like major US sports, why let another team in, and have to further split the pot. Successful races in the US, including viewership, will be the best way to support another US team. And better hurry, before us old folk die off, and the Andretti name loses its value

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
30 days ago

The fact that some existing teams suck isn’t a good reason to allow in a new team that’s just as bad. I don’t think Sauber, Williams, or Haas would be allowed onto the grid today if one of them were applying to be the 11th team. Regardless of the merits of Andretti joining F1 (which are dubious), you can’t throw out the current teams even if you would like to. F1 doesn’t need more teams competing at the level of Sauber or Williams, which Andretti almost certainly would be.

It would certainly do no worse than the farcical efforts of HRT, Manor Marussia, and Caterham.”

True, but you’ll note that those teams are no longer on the grid, and I for one wouldn’t advocate to bring them back. Just because Andretti is not worse than others who have failed is no justification to approve their application. If you want Andretti in F1, make an argument that he would be able to compete in the top half of the grid, not that he wouldn’t be a worse failure.

The fact of the matter is that F1 doesn’t need an 11th team. From a business perspective, it would dilute earnings for the teams that are there, who are finally on a sustainable path. If Andretti wants to join, he should make a business case for his team being there. I doubt it would drive additional viewership. I don’t tune in to watch the moving chicanes in the bottom third of the grid. Do you?

Wolfpack57
Wolfpack57
30 days ago

This line of thought only applies in F1.

  1. Most series welcome new entrants, because a bigger field means a greater chance of an on-track battle at a given time. It baffles me that F1 admin don’t agree.
  2. The argument that Andretti and General Motors won’t be able to field a competitive car doesn’t make sense. Andretti is a giant in Indycar, the closest to F1. They’ve run competititve teams in IMSA too, and they’re in Formule E, Extreme E, v8 Supercars too. General Motors certainly has the engineering might to design a motor.
  3. Viewers. An American entry with a legitimate shot at a win every weekend would bring me in. I don’t tune in currently to watch Max Wins Again.
  4. Sustainability. These programs are run as advertisements for the team, always have. I’d say the cost cap is much bigger.
Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
30 days ago
Reply to  Wolfpack57
  1. There are several on track battles throughout most races (not the Monaco parade). The lack of action at the front is relatively common in any non-spec series. See also MotoGp where there is often only a couple dominant teams.
  2. No team, regardless of backing, is going to be competitive out of the gate. How many years did Honda languish before selling to Brawn. How many years did it take for Mercedes to get competitive?
  3. An American entry with a legitimate shot at a win would be great. See point two.
  4. While I agree that the cost cap is important to sustainability, diluting the media revenues for the teams will have a negative effect. Adding a team will not increase media revenues.

Also, while I respect Andretti’s accomplishments in other race series, none of them are close to F1. Indycar is a spec series with two(?) engines and chassis builders. IMSA is governed by balance of performance. Formula E uses a spec chassis and batteries built by… wait for it… Williams. (not the f1 team, but a related company). V8 Supercars has BOP aspects.

Personally, I think it would be great to allow Andretti’s entry, but I can’t pretend not to understand why they said no.

Wolfpack57
Wolfpack57
30 days ago

We both know the reason they said no is that teams didn’t want competition, and F1 is run by the teams. If Caddy was good, Ferrari wouldn’t get podiums as much, and if they were bad, Aston or Merc wouldn’t get points.

F1 has such an owner-first government that the above complaint overruled the health of the sport as a competition and as a product. If that’s the way they want to do it, I’ll just go back to watching WEC.

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
29 days ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

Any 11th team would dilute (i.e. devalue) the value of the sport to the current teams. And while Andretti showed they could put together a package that met the requirement to join, it’s a business decision by the current owners not to split earning 11 ways instead of 10. Is it right? maybe not, but try going to any sports franchise and telling them you want to join. Unless you can prove a likely tangible benefit to earnings, it’s not going to happen. That’s why the NFL has only 32 teams. MLB arguably has too many teams because they weren’t picky enough. Most stadiums sit half empty during games and television revenues suffer because games are sold generally to local audiences.

Also, while Williams and Sauber are admittedly not performing well, they are existing parties to the Concord Agreement. You can’t force them out or I’m sure the FOM would try.

LuzifersLicht
LuzifersLicht
30 days ago

wouldn’t be competitive and could damage F1’s reputation

*cough* Spa 2021 *cough*

NosrednaNod
NosrednaNod
30 days ago

And they don’t even have a spare chassis three races into the season.

Because they don’t have an MRP system! Something the smallest manufacturing outfits have already bested!

I can’t imagine the sh1t-show that was their cost-cap submissions! Without MRP, how in the world did they even know how much anything cost?

In a related note… I will remind everyone of the off-season clucking about “what is Haas even doing in the grid!…. sell the team!…”. Haas has outperformed a) an embarrassing legacy outfit (Williams), b) a multi-national car manufacturer (Alpine) and c) a soon-to-be one (Sauber).

Jason Smith
Jason Smith
29 days ago
Reply to  NosrednaNod

James Vowles has stated multiple times Williams’ lack of organization has nedlessly cost the team multiple millions of pounds per season. That said, the years of barely making payroll and keeping the lights on have probably made them pretty good at keeping track of exactly how much is being spent. Keeping track of where exactly the things are that the money bought is another story…

NosrednaNod
NosrednaNod
28 days ago
Reply to  Jason Smith

That said, the years of barely making payroll and keeping the lights on have probably made them pretty good at keeping track of exactly how much is being spent.

I would disagree. MRP systems are specifically there to account for every penny. Without one, a manufacturing organization is just guessing.

Jason Smith
Jason Smith
28 days ago
Reply to  NosrednaNod

I was under the impression it was more for optimizing the efficiency through scheduling production, minimizing down time, and maximizing inventory availability on a predetermined schedule.
The process they’ve been using has the capacity to tell them “W” number or parts need to be produced using “X” cost of materials needing “Y” manhours for a cost of “Z” GBP; just don’t ask where the parts are, when they’ll be made, or when you can finish an assembly. Which just happens to be where the team fell in its face…

Last edited 28 days ago by Jason Smith
Jason Smith
Jason Smith
27 days ago
Reply to  Jason Smith

By the way I’m not trying to argue, I was just under the impression that the objective of transitioning to a modern MRP was to obtain better cost control through better visibility of production where the way Williams has apparently been operating was to just not spend more than a fixed amount, period. An objectively bad way to go about things…
If I’m completely off base, I’m all ears.

Last edited 27 days ago by Jason Smith
NosrednaNod
NosrednaNod
24 days ago
Reply to  Jason Smith

The big thing that MRP systems do is tie it all together. It ties the part costs to the purchase orders. It ties the labor to the work orders. It ties the manufacturing routing to the overhead costs. It ties it all together in a way that used to be done by hand (not as accurately).

I dealt with a supplier in Asia that did not have an MRP system. They did it all by hand with… Excel spreadsheets like Williams. The difference is they were paying Asia labor rates, so they could just throw people at the job.

Getting an accurate Bill of Materials out of them was a nightmare… which is the kind of thing MRP systems are best at. If it ain’t in the BOM, it ain’t in the product.

I Could but Meh
I Could but Meh
30 days ago

Williams being shit doesn’t give Andretti an excuse to enter F1. If I were F1, I would prefer new teams not enter until the existing bad teams had been bought out and turned around.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
30 days ago

Yes it is, because the entire excuse for not allowing Andretti to join was that Andretti wouldn’t be good enough. When you’ve got five shitty teams (Williams, Haas, Sauber, Alpine and Racing Bulls) it makes it hard to defend the whole “not good enough” claim.

To your second point, what happens when none of the bad teams are interested in selling?

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
30 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

They don’t want Andretti because there’s no business case for allowing a 6th crap team. I’m sure they would gladly replace some of the existing backmarkers, but, once you’re in, you’re in.

I Could but Meh
I Could but Meh
28 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

When you’ve got five shitty teams (Williams, Haas, Sauber, Alpine and Racing Bulls) it makes it hard to defend the whole “not good enough” claim.

When you already have shit teams, that gives you the perfect excuse to say “we’re already screwed and can’t keep doing it”. Having a poor roster is absolutely not the time to add more bad teams.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
28 days ago

That’s not their argument. Their argument is that Andretti simply isn’t good enough and would drag F1’s name through the mud. So again, if that’s the case, why are Williams, Haas, Sauber, Alpine and Racing Bulls still there?

I Could but Meh
I Could but Meh
26 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

I didn’t say that’s their public argument, I’m saying that’s what makes sense. Also, is your question why haven’t they kicked the bottom five out yet? The answer is because they can’t, which brings us back to my original comment. They would prefer the shit teams be bought out and turned around, rather than letting in another shit team. This really is easy.

NosrednaNod
NosrednaNod
30 days ago

Can’t be bought out if you are not for sale.

I Could but Meh
I Could but Meh
28 days ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

Not really. There will always be some billionaire that thinks it’s a good idea to jump into F1.

Arthur Flax
Arthur Flax
30 days ago

Andretti should field an F1 team. That would make it the third US team on the grid. Williams is owned by Dorilton Capital, an American company. I suspect it’s also funded by Logan Sargeant’s incredibly wealthy father and/or uncle, but have no proof.

I don’t want to have the black helicopters coming for me, but both Sargeant and Albon come from colorful breeding stock. It’s worth a Google. Albon is a competent racer, though I don’t know if he has the top of the heap stuff. Sargeant is…well he didn’t wreck his car last weekend – for once.

I’d rank Williams above Renault/Alpine, even with their limited chassis inventory.

Haas is the second American owned team on the grid at present.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
30 days ago
Reply to  Arthur Flax

Between Williams and Haas, there’s probably a handful of Americans doing light filing or something (and one driving around slowly and still managing to crash).

NosrednaNod
NosrednaNod
28 days ago
Reply to  Arthur Flax

My understanding of the situation is that Andretti actually CAN field a team. They have been approved by the FIA.

It is just they can’t expect any acknowledgement from the media rights holders without a commercial agreement. That would mean they literally could be skipped when shown on the starting grid and never mentioned in the broadcasts.

I actually think that would be super hilarious.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
30 days ago

The shit show called F1 has lost all credibility. Screw them.

I propose that they hire someone with scruples, honesty, and integrity to run the sport.

Like Elon, or maybe the RNC, or The My Pillow Guy…/s

Last edited 30 days ago by Col Lingus
Arthur Flax
Arthur Flax
30 days ago

I believe the author forgot to mention how silly (slow) Renault, I mean Alpine, looks this year.

Tom W
Tom W
30 days ago

So there is a lot of discussion around Williams and Vowles’ (new team principal as of last year?) struggles. Williams is going through an enormous culture and technology shift over the last two seasons. Apparently, pre-Vowles, all parts management was done in an Excel spreadsheet. There was no way to know what was in the queue to be built, where items were in production line (manufacturing, testing, verification, rebuilding, installed) and many of the parts were re-used from previous year’s cars. So the reason Williams were late to the paddock at the opening of the season is they didn’t have the parts ready. Vowles, coming from working as engineer at Mercedes, is beside himself. Its like going into field hospital tent from working at a modern hospital. They apparently were regularly having to search for parts in the garage because no one knew where the pieces were. Many of the components that other teams make out of carbon fiber are still metal. He’s got a huge task ahead of him to modernize their works. And yeah, it is a storied/historic team and a damn shame. And you’re right, the whole “diluting the brand” is bull caca… Andretti would have at least made the midfield a little more interesting.

Last Pants
Last Pants
30 days ago

Can you imagine if your teenage older brother crashed his car so your mom says that he can drive your car because he’s a better driver? MOM HE HIT A WALL THO!

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
30 days ago

I’m still confused about the whole Andretti-Cadillac thing. Was he rejected because he missed that email or because GM isn’t going to be part of the bid until 2027 or later?

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
30 days ago

He was rejected because they don’t want to split the money 11 ways instead of 10. That’s it.

Aaron
Aaron
30 days ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

And the established leaders don’t want another serious competitor.

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
30 days ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

Oh definitely, I just can’t remember what F1’s paper excuse was.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
30 days ago

They wouldn’t “bring value” or “be competitive” (like, you know, Williams, Alpine, and Haas do/are [ha hah]).

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
30 days ago

Yeah, and the top team can’t even figure out brakes!
Things in F1 are getting really boring and silly. I’m losing interest.

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
30 days ago

LOL, getting silly? How long have you been watching? F1 goes from scandal to scandal to scandal. The racing is just a bit of entertaining* sideshow.

*Whether it’s entertaining is subjective. To me it is, but I am given to understand that to others it isn’t.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
30 days ago

I’ve been watching since the mid-90’s. Even then, Schumi had to deal with Mika Hakkinen. Jordan occasionally won a race. It was “any given Sunday”.
But with the proliferation of boring desert races, the seemingly locked-in grid order, and the lack of any competition for Verstappen (including his teammate), this series sucks. I want drama on the track, not in Horner’s bedroom.

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
30 days ago

That’s about the same period as I’ve been watching. My comment was mainly that there’s always been scandal in F1 for as long as I can remember. There have certainly been great seasons and boring seasons. Schumi vs Mika was the golden era of F1.

Goose
Goose
30 days ago

Am I the only one less annoyed with Williams (who has shown genuine desire to improve with actual improvement) and their lack of ability to field a second car than the crap some of the other teams are putting out there? Compared to the likes of Haas (I don’t even need to describe this one, screw Gene), Sauber’s toilet bowl swirling and inability to even swap a set of wheels, and Alpine’s general holier-than-thou attitude with nothing but shit performance and constant staff changes – Williams, especially with Vowles now, is way more deserving to be on the grid. Seriously, Haas should just sell, he made a really smart initial investment, sell the damn team and make your money; maybe even try to negotiate a title sponsorship out of it. Sauber better hope things turn around with that Audi money. Alpine, yikes, Rossi’s damage is hard to recover from, IDK what I’d do differently besides get a time machine and go back. VCARB also needs to sell; Red Bull owning two teams and ability to freely change staff between them seems so wrong.

Last edited 30 days ago by Goose
FloridaNative
FloridaNative
30 days ago
Reply to  Goose

It actually makes a lot of sense for Haas to just sell the lone US F1 team to Andretti/Cadillac.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
30 days ago
Reply to  FloridaNative

Williams is as much a “US” team as Haas – there are few if any Americans involved besides the owners. Calling Haas a US team is really a joke.But then, F1 itself is more a joke than a sport any more.

FOM was correct in one part of their rejection – Andretti would not have been competitive right away as he would have been using Alpine engines (which apparently this year are derived from 2-cycle lawn mowers) until the Caddy engines were available. Of course, few teams are “competitive” (ie, can win a race) in their first year or two anyway.

Last edited 30 days ago by Jack Beckman
ColoradoFX4
ColoradoFX4
30 days ago
Reply to  Goose

Haas (so far) is actually having a decent season – double points yesterday thanks to Russell’s last lap crash. It’s doing far better than RB or Sauber, and Alpine is a disaster considering the resources they have. But I agree, selling Haas to Andretti makes a ton of sense and would probably result in a Aston or McLaren-competitive team.

Goose
Goose
30 days ago
Reply to  ColoradoFX4

Haas typically seems to have an OK start, they just fall way back as other teams out develop them as the season goes on.

JordanB
JordanB
30 days ago

The broad point of this article is correct but this entire section is factually wrong.
Some sidestepped the issue entirely. Sauber (aka Stake F1 Team) managed to pull Audi into its orbit for 2026, while Ford inked a deal to supply Red Bull from the same year. These were mere commercial deals with existing interests, which allowed the automakers to join the sport with a simple partnership deal.”

Audi purchased the entire team, its not a partnership. Ford is *not* supplying Red Bull with anything.

Industrial_design_guy
Industrial_design_guy
30 days ago

F1 is a joke. I won’t follow a sport run by such a rotten bloated organization. I prefer my racing unspoiled by greedy suits.

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
30 days ago

Good luck with that. Any racing above the most basic amateur level is a money game. F1 is just the pinnacle of that.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
30 days ago

Uh-huh, like that blue-collar paradise at Thermal.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
29 days ago

I’m glad you brought up Thermal. I’m still not sure what to make of that this past weekend.

On one hand, it’s cool that that IndyCar tried something new, and who am I to complain that a bunch of well-off people built their own private freakin’ racetrack in the desert? I mean, plenty of us here would do it, if we had that kind of money.

But on the other, there’s something unsettling – for a bunch of reasons both personal and societal – about the concept, that the future of racing might be a largely private, curated “experience” like that.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
30 days ago

What a mess. This is the kind of incompetence and Old Boy’s Club insularity I used to see at our local oval track. But the tickets there were only $7.50–and you got to watch a 318i vie with a Pinto & a Sirocco for supremacy in Mini-Stock. Not to mention the thinly disguised demolition derby called Any Car 🙂

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
30 days ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

I was thinking similar as I watched both Indy Car and NASCAR this weekend.

Will Indy’s exhibition at a private, rich guy racetrack in the desert and NASCAR’s unheard-of-20-years-ago COTA race eventually breed such thinking in those series?

ChefCJ
ChefCJ
30 days ago

I said exactly this to my wife while we were watching the race. Williams can’t feild 2 cars, Andretti is in pretty much every racing series except for F1, but yeah let’s keep Williams in because they were good in the 70s. It’s crazy to me.

Joshua Christian
Joshua Christian
30 days ago

If Andretti has FIA approval, what can F1, which from what I understand is essentially a media conglomerate, really do to stop them from actually racing? Unless I’m completely misunderstanding how this works… I’m sorry I don’t really follow F1.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
30 days ago

F1 is owned by a media conglomerate, Liberty Media, but they aren’t one themselves. FIA sets the rules and provides sanctioning, but F1 runs the club. Kind of like how SCCA provides a rulebook, sanctioning, and insurance for your local autocross club, but they don’t get involved in the day-to-day operations.
If you want to join the F1 club, you have to have approval from both.

Last edited 30 days ago by Rad Barchetta
Joshua Christian
Joshua Christian
29 days ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

It’d be Motorsport UK for me I think, but yeah, I see what you mean!

NosrednaNod
NosrednaNod
28 days ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

My understanding is that you in fact CAN compete. You just won’t get any prize money or media acknowledgement without a commercial rights agreement. You and your sponsors might not even be able to acknowledge you are competing in F1!

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
30 days ago

It is different from say NASCAR or Indycar where the sanctioning body who set the rules is the same as the commercial rights holder. The FIA sets and administers the rules, but Liberty Media is the commercial rights holder and the one that pays out the prize money, has the support races on the F1 programme, gets the TV money etc. They’ve created an effective franchise model in the last few years where they and the existing teams decide who can join and who can’t. If a team enters from scratch expanding the grid they have to pay a so-called anti-dilution fee of (I think) $200m as the prize money would now need to be split 11 ways rather than 10. It is similar to franchise expansion in the NFL.

The current relationship between F1/Liberty and the FIA is shaky, and F1’s approval of Andretti followed by F1’s rejection on mostly commercial grounds (some of it dressed up as competitiveness reasons) is as much a symptom of the disfunction between F1 and the FIA as it is of Andretti bid itself.

There is nothing from a sporting or regulations point of view to stop Andretti buying inot an existing F1 team of which Williams and Haas could be candidates for this (the other teams all have major backers with deep pockets).

Joshua Christian
Joshua Christian
29 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

I see!

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
30 days ago

It’s actually a 3 legged stool. FIA is contracted to promulgate and enforce rules. They can say whether an applicant has met the minimum requirement in the rule to field a team. This doesn’t give the team the right to show up and race. FOM is the media side of the sport. They promote and collect fees for television and venues, as well as producing the “show”. The fees they collect are split between them and the teams. The teams are the third leg of the stool. They must agree to any changes and approve any additions to the grid before changes and additions can go into effect. The three legs are joined by the confidential “Concord Agreement” which presumably sets out the rights and obligations of each party.

Joshua Christian
Joshua Christian
29 days ago

It’s got an almost cabal-like feeling to it when you think about it. Obviously not so shady, though.

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
30 days ago

Perhaps if Andretti agrees to bring an extra extra car for Williams they might be let in.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
30 days ago
Reply to  Vanillasludge

COTD

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