Bruno Michel will not expand his F2 and F3 grids for Andretti

The boss of the two main F1 support series raised the possibility of Andretti joining his championships. If he opens the door, however, he warns that he will not increase the capacity of his grilles.

Published on 02/05/2024 à 19:59

Jeremy Satis

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Bruno Michel will not expand his F2 and F3 grids for Andretti

Bruno Michel, boss of F2 and F3, spoke at length on the Andretti file. © Eric Alonso / DPPI

There will be no free pass for Andretti! While the American team is seeking by all means to enter into Formula 1 for two years, she has also expressed interest in the idea of ​​engaging in the two main series of accessions to F1: the Formula 3 and Formula 2. If the file obviously promises to be less complex than in F1, it would seem that the American structure will nevertheless have to face similar problems as for its arrival in the premier category.

Questioned during a press point in which AUTOhebdo participated this Thursday, the CEO of Formula 2 and Formula 3 mentioned the possible arrival of Andretti in his championships, explaining that he could not afford to expand the grid of one or other of its series in order to accommodate Andretti. He explained the reasons for this positioning.

No widening of the grids

“For Formula 3, I think it is completely out of the question to increase the number of cars”, he explained, while ten teams are already present with three cars lined up each. Thirty cars is already a lot and it’s a very good number.” For the French boss, it would be too difficult to “find the right number of drivers for the teams” in case of widening of the grid.

“Then on the track we also know that at some point having too many cars is not very good for the race, and also for having a coherent grid”, he added, aware that the many minutes spent under safety car regime in 2023 did not necessarily pay tribute to his discipline. “For Formula 3, there will therefore be no additional cars.”

On the other hand, Formula 2 is made up of eleven teams each fielding two cars, i.e. a presence of 22 single-seaters at the start of each race currently. What makes it easier to consider a move to 24? Not necessarily… “We had 26 cars in GP2, then we went down to 20, and we went back up to 22 (with the arrival of Hitec, Editor’s note). I'm pretty happy with the numbers we have right now, for several reasons."

Andretti F3 F2

Andretti soon in F3 and F2? © Agency / DPPI

And Michel lists his arguments. “The first thing is that it has to be viable for the teams and finding 22 drivers with adequate budgets is never an easy task. You also shouldn't have too many drivers in Formula 2, because ultimately some drivers won't want to move up to F2 and it might be a little too difficult. So I would say that at the moment, I am not very inclined to increase the number of teams. 

Andretti invited… to follow the usual procedure

Therefore, if Andretti truly wishes to integrate the F2 and F3 grids, it will have to go through the traditional scheme. “They can try to make a deal with an existing team, or they can apply, and if they apply, there's always the possibility that a team won't continue or a team hasn't made the cut. good job, and in that case they would have a chance to get in”, assures Bruno Michel.

However, the CEO of F2 and F3 assured that there was nothing concrete regarding the potential arrival of the team led by Michael Andretti. “I've read a few articles about Andretti saying the exact same thing, that they want to join F2 and F3, but we haven't been in contact yet, he said. This is likely to happen. I understood that Andretti also linked his possible programs to a program in Formula 1, which is also not yet decided at the moment.

As a reminder, F2 and F3 have a team selection process every three years, both in F2 and F3, with priority for outgoing teams naturally. “The F2 one took place last year, at the end of 2023, and the next one will therefore take place in three years. For F3, the selection process will take place this year. If they want to join the team, they will of course have to go through the selection process.” The conquest of Europe is definitely complicated for Andretti!

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Jeremy Satis

Great F1 reporter & passionate about promotional formulas

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