Andretti Cadillac Racing to apply for Formula One inclusion

Andretti Global and Cadillac are looking to be the next F1 team
Andretti Global and Cadillac are looking to be the next F1 team

Michael Andretti is determined to field an FIA Formula One team. He earlier made this desire known and, after competing in F1 during the 1993 season for McLaren, earning a single podium in a protracted season, and after watching his father, Mario Andretti, earn the most recent American F1 championship in 1978, the second-generation driver turned team owner has found a partner who, he believes, can help him cross the barriers set up by F1 to secure only the strongest teams in the series.

Andretti Global and General Motors announced, on January 5, 2023, that it would petition the FIA Formula One World Championship to allow Andretti Global and General Motors’ Cadillac brand entry into this exclusive racing club. The Andretti Cadillac team would be based at the new Andretti Global headquarters in Fishers, Ind., which broke ground in December. and is expected to be operational in 2024 Their intent is to have a European satellite operation for the European races and employ at least one American driver, likely Colton Herta, who recently signed a long-term extension with the Andretti Autosport team.

F1 has seen growth in the American arena, with the success of its Austin, Texas race at Circuit of the Americas, the 2022 Miami race and this coming year’s event in Las Vegas. Much of that interest is due to Netflix’s F1 series, “Drive to Survive”, which chronicles the sport’s successes and also its missteps. 

In its Andretti Autosport guise, the team has had much success in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES with Honda power, particularly at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Andretti’s teams have earned five Indianapolis 500 victories, together with four INDYCAR championships. It should be noted, as stellar F1 reporter Joe Saward points out, that General Motors and Honda have an ongoing relationship in fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. This relationship dates back to 2013 and, in April of last year GM and Honda announced expansion plans to develop “affordable electric vehicles” based on Ultium battery technology.

That scenario brings up the possibility that GM and Honda could join forces with Andretti to use Honda engines, albeit with separate branding. Michael Andretti, in making this announcement together with Mark Reuss, president of General Motors, noted that his company has a technical director signed, Saward revealed. Reuss noted that the intent is to involve GM’s Technical Center at Warren, Michigan, together with the new GM Racing operation at Charlotte, North Carolina.

The first step to accomplishing this goal is to submit an Expression of Interest when the FIA opens that formal process. If selected, “the team is seeking to compete as soon as practical with at least one American driver,” its initial statement revealed. While Michael – and father Mario – Andretti have spoken about a 2024 entry, it would likely be a 2026 engagement, when new engine regulations come into play and the field is leveled – at least somewhat.

Michael Andretti’s INDYCAR teams have won five Indianapolis 500 Mile races – Anne Proffit photo

Michael Andretti began his conversations with Mark Reuss about six months ago, so likely during the Detroit INDYCAR weekend. Their conjoined interest piqued as the year went along, resulting in this announcement. “I feel that we are well suited to be a new team for Formula One and can bring value to the series and our partners, and excitement for the fans,” Michael Andretti stated. “I’m proud to have GM and Cadillac alongside us as we pursue this goal. GM and Andretti share a legacy born out of the love of racing. We now have the opportunity to combine our motorsport passions and dedication to innovation, to build a true American F1 bid.

“Together,” Andretti summed, “we will continue to follow procedures and steps put forth by the FIA during the evaluation process. In the meantime, we continue to optimistically prepare, should we be fortunate enough to have Andretti Cadillac formally approved as a Formula One contender.”

Of course General Motors is heavily involved in American racing, led by its 41 Chevrolet brand NASCAR championships through to its successes in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Cadillac’s V-Series has, since 2017 been competing in IMSA’s top prototype category, DPi, and has jumped into the new LMDh hybrid class, known as GTP, for 2023 and beyond. The same Cadillac V-LMDh is also competing in the FIA’s World Endurance Championship.

“General Motors is honored to team with Andretti Global on this historic moment in racing,” Reuss confirmed. “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. Cadillac and F1 both have growing global appeal,” Reuss concluded. “Our brand has a motorsports pedigree that’s more than a century in the making, and we would be proud to have the opportunity to bring our distinct American innovation and design to F1.”

The ball, as they say, is now in the FIA’s court to either approve or reject the application by Andretti Cadillac Racing.

About Anne Proffit 1264 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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