Formula 1's rejection of Andretti Cadillac was packed with strange details, including lines questioning the team's ability to build a competitive car and the fame of the Andretti family. One of the more odd points was a line suggesting that team owner and founder Michael Andretti, who has spent the past two years showing up at Formula 1 races in an effort to get his team on the grid, chose not to attend an in-person meeting to discuss the proposal. A new clarification from the team suggests that the team did not attend for one simple reason: The invite went to spam.
A representative from the team told the Associated Press that the invite was found only after a later search of the team's email system. Additionally, the invite was sent by an unnamed staffer rather than by F1 CEO and newly crowned American racing arch-villain Stefano Domenicali.
The representative added that the team is still interested in the meeting.
"[Andretti Cadillac was] not aware that the offer of a meeting had been extended and would not decline a meeting with Formula One Management," an Andretti Cadillac spokesperson said to the AP. "An in-person meeting to discuss commercial matters would be and remains of paramount importance to Andretti Cadillac... We welcome the opportunity to meet with Formula One Management and have written to them confirming our interest.”
In the same piece, the representative from Andretti Cadillac noted that the rejection from F1 is focused in part on a concern that is irrelevant to the team's future plans. The official document voices concerns about whether or not the team's current operations to build a car for the 2025 rule set would get in the way of development for a 2026 car under different rules, but the team planned to compete only in 2026 and all 2025 development was only happening because the 2026 rule set has not been shared.
The pushback from Andretti Cadillac is the latest declaration that the team has not given up on its fight to race in F1. Both a statement from the team on Wednesday and a statement from the FIA itself on Thursday suggest that the process will continue in another form, possibly through either a legal challenge or a formal proposal to enter in 2028 when the GM's powertrain program is up and running. The FIA has already approved of the operation in a process that saw three other teams rejected, making the sanctioning body a powerful potential ally in any future push to race in F1.
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