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“They Don’t Want the Pie Bigger,” NASCAR Insider Unveils the True Motive Behind Formula 1’s Rebuff of Michael Andretti Motorsports

Published 02/01/2024, 8:28 PM EST

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With a little help from the big guns at General Motors, Michael Andretti was all set to dive into the F1 circus by 2025, planning to kick off with a Renault engine before switching gears to a Cadillac powerhouse in 2028. Their application got the green light from the FIA on October 2nd, but it wasn’t a done deal yet; they still had to win over the folks at F1 and their head honcho, Stefano Domenicali.

After half a year of nail-biting reviews, Michael Andretti’s dream of being the big boss of a Formula One squad hit a major roadblock. The powers that be in F1’s commercial circle gave his team’s entry the thumbs down for 2025 or 2026. They said Andretti’s crew wasn’t cut out for the cutthroat world of global racing, but Kenny Wallace lifted the curtain on a little F1 secret—it turns out, the F1 bigwigs aren’t too keen on slicing the pie with any newcomers.

The old guard bowing out becomes necessary, says Kenny Wallace 

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For now, Michael Antretti’s team relying on their 2028 entry might be the only option, but for a squad itching to hit the track next year, cooling their heels for four more years is going to feel like an eternity. The brass at F1 penned a hefty note, saying, in a nutshell, that just adding an 11th team without a new engine maker in the mix wouldn’t really jazz up the sport enough to shake things up.

Starting in 2026, Formula One is shaking things up with fresh rules that lean heavily into green fuels and amp up the electric juice. Six big players in the engine game have thrown their hats into the ring for 2026, with Audi teaming up with Sauber in the mix. Ford’s making a comeback, teaming up with the three-peat champs, Red Bull. And Honda’s making a return to the engine supplier scene in 2026 too. General Motors is confident their Cadillac project ticks all the boxes on Formula One’s wishlist. But even with all the right moves, Andretti’s bid didn’t get the green light from F1.

F1’s verdict was pretty clear: they doubted Andretti could hold their own in the F1-like competitive world of racing; they reckoned the Andretti brand didn’t have the sparkle Michael thought it did, and they figured breaking into the grid in the next couple of years was a mountain too steep for Andretti.

But Kenny Wallace has a different take, one that F1’s bigwigs aren’t shouting from the rooftops. He laid it out plain and simple: “They have to share the revenue that there’s share money and they don’t want to do that. […] Formula One is where all the money in the world is. And if you take any other money away from them if you… They don’t want the pie bigger.

He further continued, “I’m gonna say it again the formula one they do not want the pie bigger because if you make the pie bigger, that means they got a hand somehow. […] Formula One, some of those teams have been there forever. And they’re gonna look at enjoy like that- we ain’t letting you come in and take some of the money that we have worked on our whole life.”

Watch This Story: Big Trouble for Stewart-Haas Racing, But Delight for Michael Andretti With Russian F1 Development

He also pointed out, “They have all healthy teams right now and there’s no teams selling out. Now the only way Michael could make his way in there is if a team would fall out that way the revenue sharing would stay the same. […]” And when prodded about Haas’s entry, Wallace shed light on their strategy: “I guess, Haas bought a team out that was dying. And so they didn’t have to change the revenue sharing.” In the midst of this tug-of-war, Andretti Cadillac isn’t mincing words, saying they’re not too pleased with F1’s take on their bid.

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Is Michael Andretti gearing up for a courtroom showdown against Formula One?

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The gate to the 2028 F1 grid hasn’t slammed shut on Michael Andretti Motorsports just yet, but as things stand, they’re not speeding through either. Mere hours after F1 dropped their bombshell, Andretti’s team fired back with a snappy comeback, brushing off claims that they wouldn’t be up to snuff on the track. Their message was loud: “Andretti Cadillac has reviewed the information Formula One Management Limited has shared and strongly disagree with its contents.”

Racing legend and proud dad, Mario Andretti, couldn’t hide his heartache over the decision, pouring his feelings out on X with a simple yet powerful “I’m devastated. I won’t say anything else because I can’t find any other words besides devastated.”

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Read More: F1 News: FIA Begins Investigation into Andretti’s Rejection by Bringing F1’s Decision under Scrutiny

But even with their spirits knocked down, there’s no word yet from the Andretti camp about taking this battle to the courtroom, whether it’s throwing down the gauntlet with an antitrust lawsuit against the powers that be at Formula One Management or Liberty.

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

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Neha Dwivedi is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. As a journalist, she religiously believes in the power of research, which allows her readers to dive deep into her stories and experience the detailed nuances of the sport like never before. Being proficient with Core Sport and Live Event Coverage, she has written multiple copies on the top entities of Stock Car Racing, like Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Tony Stewart.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta