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Chester Andretti Formula 1
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 28: Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director of Renault Sport F1 talks in the Team Principals Press Conference after practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 28, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Andretti makes first hiring for Formula 1 team

Even though their Formula 1 entry hasn't been approved yet, Andretti is already making plans

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According to reports, Andretti has hired ex-Renault technical chief Nick Chester to join their Formula 1 efforts.

Chester Formula 1 Andretti
Chester (right) during his time as Renault’s technical director (Image Credit: Formula 1)

Chester began his motorsport career in vehicle simulation in the 1990s, before moving on to become a performance engineer. After stints at Arrows Grand Prix and Benetton in Formula 1, he moved to Renault in 2002.

He was promoted to Head of vehicle performance in 2005. Chester also spent time as the technical director of both Lotus and Renault. In 2020, he switched to Formula E racing, working as the technical director for Mercedes and then McLaren in the span of three years.

Now, it is understood that Chester has accepted an offer to work with Andretti’s potential Formula 1 team as they continue to work on their bid to join the sport.

Although Andretti first submitted a formal request to join the Formula 1 grid over a year ago, the team still hasn’t had anything approved by the FIA. Whether or not they’ll be on the grid, even by 2026, is still up in the air.

Should their entry be approved, Chester would head up Andretti’s technical department, most likely filling the role of technical director for the team. Having filled that position for several Formula 1 and Formula E teams, it’s a role he’s more than suited for.

Added complications

The saga of Andretti’s attempts to join Formula 1 has been a trouble-ridden journey, and one that has been well-documented over the past few years.

The American outfit has run into a number of problems throughout the process, as their attempt to buy Sauber fell through, and other Formula 1 teams have opposed their entry as a new team.

Most recently, the hurdle that might stand in Andretti’s way is the proposed increase in the entry fee. The team originally announced they had the funds to pay what at the time was a $200 million fee, but now it could be raised to upwards of $600 million.

The entry fee for new teams exists to combat the dilution of the prize money that an 11th team would create, but teams now believe the initially agreed upon $200 million isn’t enough.

Does Andretti, now backed by both General Motors and Cadillac, have the funds to cover three times the amount they thought they would need to pay?

Feature Image Credit: Dan Mullan – Getty Images

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