Max Verstappen backs Andretti F1 team but has a concern

Andretti-Cadillac's F1 bid was given the green light by the FIA ahead of the 2023 Qatar GP

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Max Verstappen has backed the Andretti-Cadillac potential Formula 1 team, after the FIA gave the green light to their entry for 2026 and rejected three other bids.

Andretti still need approval from F1 Management and must get the ten current teams onboard, some of which have shown open hostility to any potential 11th team joining the grid.

Part of that opposition includes a belief that the $200 million buy-in lump sum is too small, but Verstappen believes the team would add something to F1.

“Everything I’ve seen so far, I think the partners they have and the name, they’ve shown that they’re a professional team, you know,” Verstappen told the press ahead of the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix. “So it would be nice because it gives more opportunities from the drivers’ side.”

One of the biggest criticisms about F1 is how hard it is for new drivers to get a full-time drive, even for the most talented prospects.

The current F1 grid is arguably the strongest the sport has ever seen in terms of average driver level, but with only 20 spots available there’s still plenty of talent unable to force its way onto the grid.

Liam Lawson‘s had one of the best stand-in stints by a rookie in modern history but his plans for 2024 are still uncertain and look unlikely to include a full-time F1 seat.

Meanwhile, Oscar Piastri was forced to sit out of full-time racing for a year despite winning F2, F3 and Formula Renault Eurocup in successive seasons, because he lacked huge financial backing and there weren’t enough F1 seats open.

Verstappen understands why teams don’t want Andretti

Michael Andretti at 2022 Indianapolis 500 Open Test | Penske Entertainment: Joe Skibinski

However, Verstappen was reserved in his backing, adding he can see why teams must consider Andretti‘s bid carefully.

With backing from General Motors, it’d the most well-organised entry into F1 in years, but the team still faces an uphill battle to convince teams that they will add to the sport.

This is after the FIA rejected alternative bids from Hitech, Rodin Cars and Lky Sunz.

“But I can understand from the team side, they don’t want it,” Verstappen added. “So it’s it’s a tricky one, it’s a tough one.

“And at the end of the day, the FIA, the teams and FOM have more information about how serious everything is and how well everything is prepared. So that’s why it’s not going to be I guess, a very easy decision to make.”

Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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