Missed Opportunity: F1’s Crucial Meeting with Andretti Cadillac Lost in Spam

Formula One’s invitation to Andretti Cadillac for an in-person meeting regarding its application to join the motorsports series was sent via email but ended up in a spam folder, resulting in non-response from Michael Andretti and General Motors representatives.

The discovery of the overlooked email occurred on Friday when Andretti Global aimed to address and clarify two specific points raised in the strongly critical document released by F1 earlier in the week, leading to the rejection of the Andretti Cadillac application.

F1 stated that it reached out to the Andretti team on December 12th. “extending an invitation to an in-person meeting at our offices in order for the applicant to present its application, but the applicant did not take us up on this offer.”

The invitation came as a surprise to the Andretti team. Subsequently, their IT team uncovered the request during an email system search. It was revealed that the email did not originate from F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali but from a staff member of the series.

“We were not aware that the offer of a meeting had been extended and would not decline a meeting with Formula One Management. An in-person meeting to discuss commercial matters would be and remains of paramount importance to

Andretti Cadillac,” the team said. “We welcome the opportunity to meet with Formula One Management and have written to them confirming our interest.”

Andretti’s formal proposal to increase the F1 grid from 10 teams to 11 commenced in 2022 but has encountered lukewarm responses from the existing teams and F1 itself.

The rejection from F1 cited concerns that the team would be unable to ready a competitive car for the 2025 season, along with a second car complying with the forthcoming 2026 regulations. The decision emphasized doubts about Andretti and General Motors managing such a substantial undertaking while maintaining competitiveness on the race track.

F1 said, “The fact that the applicant proposes to do so gives us reason to question their understanding of the scope of the challenge involved”.

Andretti responded on Friday, stating that while the FIA approved their application for competition in either 2025 or 2026, the team had been aiming for a 2026 launch as the approval process progressed. They have already developed a car based on the 2024 regulations, currently undergoing wind tunnel testing, due to the unavailability of complete specifications for the 2026 car at this stage.

“Andretti Cadillac has been operating with 2026 as the year of entry for many months now,” the team said. “The technicality of 2025 still being part of the application is a result of the length of this process.”