Andretti has announced that it’s joining forces with Cadillac in an effort to join the Formula 1 grid after the FIA announced its plans to find more teams for motorsport’s top level.
Andretti, which currently races in almost all forms of motorsport in the US, announced its intention to join F1 in 2022, an effort that appeared to fizzle out among opposition from other teams and the purchase of Sauber by Audi.
But after FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem announced his intention to push for an expansion of the F1 grid earlier this week, Andretti Global and General Motors announced their plans to create an “all-American team” for F1.
The release did not confirm when the partnership would expect to be on the grid, or any more details of the proposed project, but with Andretti now partnered with one of the world’s largest car companies it would appear that this attempt has more weight behind it than it did in 2022. It did confirm that the team planned to race with “at least one” American driver and that the Andretti Cadillac team would be primarily based in the US, with a satellite facility in the UK.
Speaking in the announcement former F1 driver Michael Andretti, now the head of Andretti Autosport and CEO of Andretti Global, said: “We are continuing to grow Andretti Global and its family of racing teams and always have our eyes on what’s next.
“I feel that we are well suited to be a new team for Formula 1 and can bring value to the series and our partners, and excitement for the fans.
“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.”
The move was welcomed by FIA chief Ben Sulayem, who tweeted “I welcome the news of the Cadillac and Andretti partnership and the FIA looks forward to further discussions of the FIA F1 World Championship Expressions of Interest process.”
Mark Reuss, General Motors President, added: “General Motors is honored to team with Andretti Global on this historic moment in racing. 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. 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.”
If the application does move forward it will not be an entirely straightforward entrance. Any new team joining the F1 grid must pay a $200million fee straight off, which is then split between the teams to offset the money they would each lose from splitting F1 revenues further. Before that, the application has to be approved by not just the FIA, but F1 and the teams themselves before it can move forward.
In response to the news, F1 issued a statement reinforcing that whether or not the Andretti/Cadillac application is approved, will not be decided by the FIA alone.
The statement said: "There is great interest in the F1 project at this time with a number of conversations continuing that are not as visible as others.
"We all want to ensure the championship remains credible and stable and any new entrant request will be assessed on criteria to meet those objectives by all the relevant stakeholders.
"Any new entrant request requires the agreement of both F1 and the FIA."
It would be Cadillac’s second move into global motorsport in recent years, following on from it joining the World Endurance Championship in 2023 to compete in the top level LMH class. It would also be the first time F1 had seen a new team join the grid since fellow US outfit Haas back in 2016.