6 Jan 2023

Andretti and GM keen to join F1

9:50 am on 6 January 2023

The American Andretti Global team have joined forces with US car giant General Motors with the intention of entering Formula 1.


Michael Andretti Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A joint statement said that GM would be represented by its luxury Cadillac brand should their bid be successful.

Andretti Global chairman Michael Andretti said: "We are well suited to be a new team for F1 and can bring value to the series."

Andretti said he was "seeking to compete as soon as practical".

And he said he wanted "at least one American driver."

The prime candidate for that seat would be IndyCar driver Colton Herta, who races for Andretti, has F1 aspirations, and missed out on a seat this year with Red Bull's Alpha Tauri team only because he did not have sufficient licence points to qualify.

Cadillac chairman Mark Reuss said: "We have a long, rich history in motorsports and engineering innovation, and we are thrilled with the prospect of pairing with Andretti Global to form an American F1 team that will help spur even more global interest in the series and the sport.

Andretti is one of the most famous names in global motorsport - Michael's father Mario won the 1978 F1 world title and Michael is a former F1 driver. Both are among the most successful American racing drivers in history.

And GM is one of the world's largest car makers, and an icon of American industry.

But Andretti and Cadillac will have to go through a formal F1 process and there is understood to be no prospect of the team entering before 2026.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the president of F1's governing body the FIA, earlier this week said he was planning to launch a formal process for expressions of interest for prospective new teams in F1.

Andretti has already tried to enter F1 once, failing in a bid to buy the Sauber team in 2021, and Michael Andretti has expressed frustration at F1's apparent disinterest in his application.

F1's contracts with the teams dictate that any new entrant has to pay a $321m fee to be split between the existing teams aimed at off-setting any prize money loss for the current competitors.

The teams split F1's prize money pot according to formula based on their current and historic success.

F1 is introducing a new engine formula in 2026, retaining turbo hybrid engines but significantly increasing the proportion of power produced by the electrical part of the engine and using synthetic, fully sustainable fuels.

There will already be one new competitor in 2026, following Audi's purchase of the Alfa Romeo/Sauber team.