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Andretti: F1 teams think "we are a bunch of hillbillies"

Michael Andretti thinks Formula 1 teams view his squad as "a bunch of hillbillies", after admitting surprise at the level of resistance he is facing at the moment.

Michael Andretti, Team principal Andretti Autosport

The American is hoping to get his Andretti F1 team onto the grid in 2025 at the earliest, having been given approval for an entry by the FIA.

However, to be granted a place in F1, Andretti needs to agree commercial terms with FOM – something that is far from guaranteed as the series' chiefs are lukewarm about having an extra team on the grid.

With F1's current competitors clearly against having Andretti onboard, as they express concerns about losing out on commercial income plus a potential drop in the value of all their businesses, the outcome seems far from certain.

Speaking in a YouTube video published by Bloomberg Originals, team boss Andretti has said he has been taken aback by how much those involved in F1 are resisting his plans – as he suggests they think his outfit is not up to the job.

"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."

He added: "First of all, they think that we're a bunch of hillbillies over here. 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."

Boost for F1

Andretti does not buy into the argument that his arrival in F1 would be detrimental to other teams, and he thinks there is actually potential for it to grow the championship.

Michael Andretti, Team principal Andretti Autopsport

Photo by: Andreas Beil

Michael Andretti, Team principal Andretti Autopsport

"We feel that adding more cars, I think is only going to help the sport," he explained.

"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 views the way his team plans to enter as being totally different to how Haas has approached things through having a customer relationship with Ferrari.

"They had no infrastructure, they can't build their own car," he said. "They are mini Ferraris because they just buy everything as much as they can from Ferrari and even have Ferrari engineers. Getting cars on the track is probably the easiest part.

"We [have] got to build our own car, right. 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."

He added: "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."

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Andretti said he also had no doubts that, if his squad got the green light for F1, they had the resources and capability to be competitive.

"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."

Asked what would happen if FOM rejected doing a commercial deal, Andretti said: "Disappointed I can tell you that. But I won't give up, right? We will figure out something."

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