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Andretti Global Preps for 2026 F1 Debut Despite Uncertainties

Andretti F1’s Nick Chester Explains Silverstone Base Decision

13/04/2024

Andretti Global’s technical director, Nick Chester, highlights the strategic choice of Silverstone for F1 expansion despite pending FOM approval.

Nick Chester, the technical director of Andretti Global in F1, explained why the team chose to set up in Silverstone, even though the FOM has not yet approved their entry into the Formula 1 World Championship.

“As we developed the F1 project, we needed to expand,” Chester told Motorsport Week. “We came to this facility, which is somewhat ideal for our expansion. We plan to expand beyond this facility as the F1 project grows.”

But this F1 headquarters also works with Andretti’s other factories and GM: “We are obviously very connected. You know, it’s a global effort and we are very connected to Andretti Global in the US. So there is work being done there too. The F1 car will be largely manufactured by Andretti Global and General Motors.”

Andretti Global’s idea is also to commit to F2 and F3 to develop a driver pipeline to F1. Chester explains why Michael Andretti is seeking such synergy among all his programs.

“Michael Andretti has always thought that having feeder series was a great way to bring drivers up to F1. But it also allows training engineers, utilizing synergies between multiple motorsport series, as Andretti already does with Formula E, Indy, IMSA. So it’s a way to develop these synergies.”

Many tests already carried out

Andretti still aims to make it to F1 by 2026, despite other teams’ reservations: “So, there are 80 people here in the UK. We have 50 on the project at General Motors, and we are hiring a lot. Every week, there are new recruits, and we continue the project to put a car on the starting grid for 2026.”

And to achieve this, the team is working hard on a first car model: “We have already conducted crash tests with the nose. We have completed our first nose crash prototype. We are soon going to crash the nose of a V2. We are building a section of the chassis to perform the side homologation test.”

“This year, we will make a complete prototype chassis, from the front bulkhead to the rear bulkhead. All the details you would normally have. We are already working on the driver’s layout, that is, the pedals, the columns.”

“We have already conducted a safety roll hoop test. We are iterating on this test. So, we are trying to test some of the main structural elements of the car so that they can be considered as we refine the development for the 2026 season.”

And the engineer is also not worried about having to develop a single-seater for the 2026 regulations: “We are not too worried about it. I think the situation has evolved a bit because the drag targets have been revised downward, so there is less downforce, and it seems much more achievable.”

“In fact, we are working within the framework we have to produce the 2026 car. It’s the same for all teams. I think for us, it’s just about building the best possible car within the regulations.”

A meeting coming up with the FOM

Mario Andretti confirms on his side the intention to be in F1 by 2026 and a new meeting with the FOM is to be held soon according to him

“We have never stopped working since the very beginning. We already have a car, a wind tunnel, etc. The current goal is to be on a grid in 2026.”

“We are working on it continuously every day, regardless of what has been presented to the press so far. I think we have a viable approach to this.”

“The FIA has put us to the test, if you will, so that we can tick all the boxes and we need an additional blessing from the FOM, but we have a key meeting coming up and I hope we will have some positive results.”

Andretti Global Preps for 2026 F1 Debut Despite Uncertainties

Andretti Global Preps for 2026 F1 Debut Despite Uncertainties. Andretti Global Preps for 2026 F1 Debut Despite Uncertainties

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