Michael Andretti has labelled opposition to Andretti Global’s prospective entry to the Formula 1 grid as a ‘mystery’ as the team prepares to test a 2023 prototype in the wind tunnel next week.

Earlier this month, the FIA announced that it had approved Andretti’s bid to become the sport’s 11th team. Now, the outfit must agree commercial terms with FOM ahead of a targeted 2025 arrival on the grid.

Andretti’s bid has faced great criticism from incumbent team principals who fear that the American entry wouldn’t provide enough additional value to the sport to justify a dilution of prize funds.

“Thank you to the FIA and the president of the FIA for putting the expression of interest out there,” Andretti told Sky Sports F1 on Friday.

“It was very vigorous, it was a very tough thing to go through for our team and I’m proud to say we came out on top in every category, and we’re very proud of that.

“It definitely shows that we have the right to be here on the grid, and we’re excited about that. We think we have something really to offer to Formula 1 fans.”

Speaking of the criticism his bid has faced from would-be rivals, the CART champion said: “I don’t know. It’s a mystery to me in some ways, why they’re pushing back.

Michael Andretti (USA).
07.05.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Race Day.
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“They say we’re slicing the pie, but I think the point is, hopefully we bring in more than we’re taking away, and we really believe that.

“If you look at the fan support on all of the surveys that have been done, we think that we’re going to add to it, not take away.”

Should the team be successful in negotiations with FOM, Andretti is planning for a 2025 arrival rather than 2026.

The American was proud to share the extent of preparations revealing that a 2023 spec prototype is set for wind tunnel testing next week.

“Our car is actually going to be in the wind tunnel next week, so we have a car already built up in ’23 spec. So we’re flat out.

“We’re building a team, so you know, at the moment it’s ’25, could be ’26, but we’ll see.”

As far as personnel, former Lotus and Renault F1 technical director Nick Chester was brought on board to lead the project earlier this year, and Andretti has his sights set on American talent to fill one of his seats.

“Obviously we’ve talked a lot about Colton [Herta] and Colton is definitely at the top of our list but obviously we have the points problem,” he added.

“So we have to see how he does in the IndyCar championship to hopefully get enough points to get a superlicence.

“But then we’ve talked to a few others as well that do qualify. But the goal is to have at least one American in the car and then an experienced driver in the other car to help mentor that.”

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