McLaren Will Be Happy To See Andretti F1 Team On The Grid

Formula One / 8 Comments

Other teams are not as keen to have another American team on the grid.

Mario Andretti recently made a shock announcement on Twitter, revealing that his son, Michael, has filed an official application to join the Formula One grid.

We're incredibly excited about this, as the Andretti team will be the most American team on the grid, and, as you can see in the images, the Andrettis are familiar with single-seat open-wheel racing.

The only competition is Haas, and only because it's owned by an American and backed by a prominent Russian conglomerate, which is kind of awkward at the moment. The Russian Grand Prix has already been canceled.

The timeline is still unknown, however. Entering Formula One is not as easy as paying the entry fee and pitching up for a race. You need a $200 million entry fee and hope you somehow make it back by placing high up in the constructor's championship.

Andretti Autosport/Instagram Andretti Autosport/Instagram

The Andretti team is one step closer this week, thanks to the backing of two existing F1 teams. McLaren and Alpine are both excited about having another team on the grid.

According to, Mclaren's CEO, Zak Brown, is a big fan of the idea. "Andretti as a name, as a highly credible racing team, and knowing who his backers are, and who he is, they will no doubt help us grow the sport in North America," said Brown. "I think the teams that may not support another team are being short-sighted. Are we trying to grow the sport? Or are we doing what racing teams have a bad tendency to do, which is think about today and not the future?"

Zak Brown is also an American, so it's not surprising that he would voice his backing for a new American team. The Andretti family also poses no risk to McLaren as a company. It's not like they make a rival to the Artura.

Andretti Autosport/Instagram Andretti Autosport/Instagram

The fact that Andretti has the backing of Alpine is more impressive. Alpine's CEO, Laurent Rossi, also sees potential in having an all-American team on the grid. "I think I welcome it if it's accretive," he told RaceFans. "I think Andretti could have that potential because of all the US aspects of it."

Rossi is most likely referring to the slow influx of big-name American sponsors into F1. Oracle currently sponsors Red Bull.

Oddly, Red Bull's Christian Horner doesn't seem to be a big fan of adding new teams to the grid, nor is Mercedes' team boss, Toto Wolff. And it all boils down to money.

A big part of the $200 million entry fee pays the other teams for lost income due to lost TV coverage. If you add one more team to the grid, other teams will get fewer minutes on the TV screen.

In short, the team principles of the current leading teams don't want to share the limelight.

Andretti Autosport/Instagram Andretti Autosport/Instagram

Zak Brown is of the opinion that it doesn't matter. "You have to assume that Andretti will help us grow in North America, which will compensate for any dilution in TV rights income," Brown said. Not to mention the $200 million entry fee (or dilution payment), which Andretti is ready and willing to hand over.

This news comes around a month after the resurgence of rumors surrounding a Las Vegas Grand Prix. If it happens, the USA will host three Grand Prixs per season, including The Track of the Americas and the all-new Miami street race.

Indeed, these additional races make up for any lost minutes of exposure for current F1 teams and their sponsors.

Andretti Autosport/Instagram
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