Michael Andretti has remarked that the current crop of Formula 1 teams view his eponymous enterprise as “a bunch of hillbillies.”

Andretti has teams competing in IndyCar, Indy NXT, IMSA and Formula E – with collaborations in further series beyond even that impressive roster.

Despite this – and the fact that Andretti has had a great amount of success in the numerous series in which it currently competes – the proposed bid to join Formula 1 in 2025 or 2026 has been met with much opposition from the current teams.

Opposition stems from concerns over a dilution of prize funds and what Andretti’s inclusion into the sport will do to benefit the series, with some teams saying that only an official power unit from Andretti backers Cadillac would suffice – Michael Andretti, speaking in a video published by Bloomberg Originals has admitted surprise to the scale of opposition.

“We have got to realise what we’re getting into,” he said. “We’re getting into a lot of politics and things like that. It’s just the way it is. And we’ll just deal with it.

I didn’t think it would be this hard to get in. But we’ll prove our weight to get in.”

Andretti’s bid has already been successfully approved by the FIA, with the next step being the approval of Formula One Management (FOM) by way of a commercial agreement.

Andretti doesn’t believe his team to be anything but a benefit to F1 and believes those within the paddock don’t realise the American outfit’s potential.

“First of all, they think that we’re a bunch of hillbillies over here,” he added. “And we don’t know what we’re doing.

“But because we have a lot of experience in racing, we might come at it from a different angle than everybody else, and it might work.

“We feel that adding more cars, I think is only going to help the sport. Yeah, it’s going to take a piece of the pie, prize money and things, but we feel like we can bring more to it than what we’re going to take out of the pie.”

Andretti believes his team will be All-American, in contradiction to Haas – XPB Images

In his defence, Andretti turned his attention towards the Haas team, who currently sit bottom of the Constructors’ Championship.

Haas is the newest F1 entrant on the current grid, having joined in 2016 and owner Gene Haas’ enterprise considers itself America’s F1 team, albeit with bases spread across the globe not only in Kannapolis, North Carolina but also Banbury, Oxford and Maranello, Italy.

The Haas approach also sees the team make use of third parties to bring its machine to life, utilising Ferrari architecture.

“They had no infrastructure, they can’t build their own car,” said Andretti of the Haas approach.

Andretti believes taking on the undertaking of building its car from the ground up will be beneficial to the sport by drumming up US interest.

“We have got to build our own car, right,” he said. “And if you saw how big of a deal it is…I mean, it’s a big, big undertaking.

“There are documents, and it is probably I don’t know, 500 pages of stuff.

“In IndyCar you buy the car and you’re in the ballpark right away and in F1, you’re literally building a car from scratch.

“I think having a true American team: you have an American driver, you have a car that’s built here in the US, and you have an American engine built here.

“I mean, I think that’s going to create a ton of interest for the US.”

And the work has supposedly already begun, with Andretti having worked on a 2023 spec design to run in wind tunnel simulations and the much talked about backing from General Motors and Cadillac promises an American power unit further down the line.

Andretti is also confident that his squad will be competitive if given the go-ahead to join single-seater racing’s most elite series.

“We’re still not there yet, but we feel like we have a fantastic plan,” he said. “We have GM and Cadillac behind us, which is huge.

“So, I think we have all the ingredients to be a competitive team one day and then hopefully we can come to terms with Formula 1 to be able to be there.

“If we do get in there, it’s going to be great for the sport.”

But what if they don’t? What if FOM say no and no commercial agreement is given?

Andretti said he’d be “disappointed” but will persevere. “But I won’t give up, right? We will figure out something.”

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