Andretti continue push to join F1 with key signing

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Andretti continue push to join F1 with key signing

Andretti have signed former Formula 1 technical chief Pat Symonds as they continue their attempt to join the grid in the future.

Symonds, who has enjoyed championship success with Michael Schumacher at Benetton in the 1990s and Fernando Alonso at Renault in the 2000s, joined the F1 organisation in 2017.

The 70-year-old helped design the regulations for the current ground effect cars, that were introduced in 2022, and has also played a role in the creation of the new 2026 technical rules.

He is currently serving a period of gardening leave from F1 before joining Andretti, whose application to join the sport was rejected earlier this year. It is not clear on exactly what date Symonds will join the outfit.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Pat to the Andretti family,” said Andretti CEO Michael Andretti.

“Pat’s keen understanding of aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics and Formula 1 power units will be instrumental as we continue to build a competitive team.

“I believe his expertise has been pivotal in shaping the narrative of Formula 1 and his vote of confidence in joining our effort speaks volumes. I’m really happy with this next step as our work continues at pace.”

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Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater speaks to Michael Andretti about the prospect of the team gaining a place on the Formula 1 grid, despite seeing their initial application rejected.

Will Andretti really join F1?

Michael Andretti remains convinced that his prospective F1 team will eventually join the grid and the sport will reach “a point where they can’t say no”.

The American outfit’s application to enter the grid as an 11th team for 2025 or 2026 was declined by F1 in January, with the sport doubtful that Andretti, who applied in partnership with General Motors brand Cadillac, would be sufficiently competitive or add value to the championship in either of those two seasons.

F1 did however leave the door open for 2028 by saying it would “look differently on an application” if it included a full engine supply deal from General Motors, who last year registered with the FIA to be a power unit manufacturer from that season.

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On the Sky Sports F1 Podcast, Bernie Collins outlines the challenges the Andretti company may find as they target a 2026 Formula One debut.

Despite F1’s decision on their proposed entry for 2025-26, Andretti have pressed ahead with their project and last month they opened a new UK satellite base at Silverstone where around 120 staff are currently working.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Michael Andretti said they remained in ongoing dialogue with Formula One Management (FOM) over their entry bid and talked up the significance of General Motors’ involvement in it.

“We are still working along with FOM and we will show that we are bringing a lot to the party,” said the former McLaren driver who is spearheading the project with his father Mario, the 1978 F1 world champion.

“General Motors is huge coming to the party. They are not just coming to be here, they are coming here to be a big part of our team, and I think it’s not been understood yet how big that is.

“I think once everybody understands what we are really putting together it’ll be a point where they can’t say no.”

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Martin Brundle discusses where Andretti now stand in their attempts to become Formula One’s eleventh team, and why he believes more teams may benefit F1.

Although an entry before 2028 has been ruled out by F1, Andretti insist they would be ready to compete in 2026 and “that’s what we’re pushing for right now”.

And while confirming that General Motors were committed to building an F1 engine from 2028, Andretti argued that it made more sense for his team to enter in the seasons before then.

“They are currently building an engine. They are already registered to do it,” he stated.

“So we will have an engine in ’28, but obviously we need to build to get there. To just, all of a sudden, show up in ’28 with a new engine and no team, we need two years to build there to get there that when we do get our own engine the team’s ready to go and be competitive.

“So we are not naive in any way in that way.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Monaco GP Schedule

The Monaco GP takes places this Sunday at 2pm - live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event

Image: The Monaco GP takes places this Sunday at 2pm – live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event

Thursday May 23
12.05pm: F3 Practice
1.30pm: F1 Drivers’ Press Conference
2pm: F2 Practice

Friday May 24
10am: F3 Qualifying
12pm: Monaco GP Practice One (session starts at 12.30pm)*
2pm: F2 Qualifying*
3.45pm: Monaco GP Practice Two (session starts at 4pm)*
5.30pm: The F1 Show
6.30pm: Indy 500 Final Practice
8.30pm: Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge

Saturday May 25
9.40am: F3 Sprint
11.15am: Monaco GP Practice Three (session starts at 11.30am)*
1.10pm: F2 Sprint*
2.15pm: Monaco GP Qualifying build-up*
3pm: Monaco GP Qualifying*
5pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook

Sunday May 26
6.55am: F3 Feature Race
8.35am: F2 Feature Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Monaco GP build-up*
2pm: The MONACO GRAND PRIX*
4pm: Chequered Flag: Monaco GP reaction
5pm: Ted’s Notebook
5.30pm: The Indy 500

Next up it’s time for the most-famous F1 race of them all – the Monaco Grand Prix. Watch every session from the famous street circuit from Friday live on Sky Sports F1, with Sunday’s race at 2pm. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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