New F1 team have reportedly struck engine deal with Renault

Mario Andretti during the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed (Photo by James Bearne/Getty Images)
Mario Andretti during the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed (Photo by James Bearne/Getty Images)

F1 hopeful Andretti Motorsports has reportedly been boosted by an agreement with Renault for the engines of their cars in the future. 1978 F1 world champion Mario Andretti's son Michael is spearheading the project to bring the American's name back on the F1 grid.

Mario Andretti confirmed his son's aspirations to join F1 as a new constructor in 2024 earlier this week, with the team expecting to set up shop in the United Kingdom. In an interview with David Land, the senior Andretti said:

“We’re not just new boys in town. We know the prerequisites and also there’s a time factor here. Once we said go ahead, we’ve got to go. So a lot of work has been done. We know where the facility is going to be built in the UK. We know we have people, prominent individuals that have done this type of work as far as start-ups. We have a lot of things in mind.”

There was speculation concerning what power unit the team would opt for. While many thought it would be a toss-up between Mercedes and Ferrari, the team has opted to go with the French manufacturers instead. Andretti went on to add, saying:

“We have formal agreement now on the engine supplier and it’s out there, it’s going to be Renault and I’m allowed to say it now. There was a lot of speculation from Toto Wolff, he was concerned about potentially it being Ferrari, Ferrari would have more votes than he would have, so on and so forth. There’s a lot of steps to take here and I understand that, it’s a huge undertaking. But we’re ready for it. We have incredible partners on our side, Michael does, and we’re there for the duration.”

Operating under F1's cost cap 'extremely painful', claims Mercedes boss Toto Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has confessed that his team is finding it 'extremely painful' to operate within the confines of F1's new cost cap.

F1 implemented a strict cost cap of $145 million in 2021. For the upcoming 2022 season, the budget has dropped to $140 million. These steps have been taken to maintain the sport's competitiveness and prevent richer teams from leaving others behind.

Wolff shared his thoughts on the situation during a media interaction where the Austrian said:

“It has been very, very difficult to structure the company and the organization in the right way to meet the cost cap at $140 million. Also in a high-inflation environment, and we are reducing by five million, we have a situation where you are not able to increase the costs and the payroll. That is extremely painful.”

A stricter budget has forced Mercedes to be selective about the upgrades they want to pursue. Wolff went on to say:

“On the other side, you have to decide very carefully where you invest your dollars in R&D. In the past, it was a little bit easier because you could follow various avenues chasing performance. Today you have to decide which one has the highest potential and then embark on it so it’s a totally different way of operating for the big teams.”

Mercedes were the fastest team on the final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona. The Silver Arrows return to Brackley and Brixworth before the second pre-season testing session in Bahrain ahead of the 2022 F1 season opener.

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Edited by Anurag C
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