Michael Andretti has been trying to get an F1 team for a couple of years now. Andretti’s father, Mario, is one of the best-known names in racing. Mario was the Formula One Champion in 1978. Michael also competed in the early 1990s. Up until recently, F1 has been reluctant to expand its ten team, twenty race car field. Now, Cadillac, which is already a respected name in racing can help bolster the Andretti bid. Cadillac has been routinely winning in recent years, capturing championships. Even if F1 does make room for another team, it is unlikely the team could be ready until 2026.
Andretti Global and Cadillac announced late last week that they are pursuing the opportunity to compete in the FIA Formula One World Championship. The Andretti Cadillac team would be based in the U.S. with a support facility in the U.K. Andretti is building a huge racing facility in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Cadillac engineering could come from the GM Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. GM also has the Powertrain Performance and Racing Center in Pontiac, Michigan, and a brand new Charlotte Technical Center in North Carolina. That facility was built last year specifically to expand GM’s performance and racing capabilities.
Formula One Growing in Popularity
F1 has been growing in popularity in the U.S. This year the circuit will have three U.S. races in Austin, Miami and Las Vegas.
The Andretti Cadillac team is planning to submit an Expression of Interest when the FIA opens the formal process. If selected, the team is seeking to compete as soon as practical with at least one American driver. More than likely that would be during the 2026 season.
Cadillac V-Series has a legacy of success on the track in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Pirelli World Challenge. Since 2017, Cadillac has been competing at the forefront of American sports car racing in IMSA, achieving numerous wins, podiums, and championships with the Cadillac DPi-V.R. Cadillac will continue in sports car racing with the all-new hybrid Cadillac V-LMDh, which will compete globally in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship.
Andretti Global is a global racing enterprise and parent company to Andretti Autosport and other Andretti racing ventures. Andretti racing teams currently compete in seven different top-tier series worldwide and have found success in each avenue of competition.
GM and Andretti Have a Racing Team History
Andretti and GM last paired for the return of Chevrolet to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2012, together capturing nine wins across two seasons. The pairing additionally claimed the Driver, Team and Manufacturer titles in 2012.
Michael Andretti, Chairman and CEO, Andretti Global said in a statement:
“We are continuing to grow Andretti Global and its family of racing teams and always have our eyes on what’s next. I feel very strongly that we are suited to be a new team for Formula One 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.
“Together, 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.”
In the same statement, Mark Reuss, President, General Motors echoed Andretti’s enthusiasm.
“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.”
Formula One Teams Concerned About the Competition
Apparently, some of the Formula One teams have groused about the possibility of adding more competitors. Today, NBC Sports is reporting that Ben Sulayem, the head of the FIA, which oversees the Formula One races is defending the Andretti/Cadillac team. NBC quotes a Sulayem tweet.
Sulayem tweeted “It is surprising that there has been some adverse reaction to the @Cadillac and @FollowAndretti news. The @FIA has accepted the entries of smaller, successful orgnisations in recent years.”
“We should be encouraging prospective F1 entries from global manufacturers like @GM and thoroughbred racers like Andretti and others. Interest from teams in growth markets adds diversity and broadens @F1’s appeal.”
Cadillac Racing’s Successful Track Record
- Cadillac won the International Motor Sports Association WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021, 2018 and 2017.
- Cadillac also won the Rolex 24 at Daytona four times in a row: 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017.
- Cadillac won the Michelin North American Endurance Cup four times: 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017.
- Cadillac's latest race car will see its first race at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2023.
It certainly would make Formula One races in the U.S. more fun and interesting if you had a local team to cheer for.
Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist and has decades of experience specializing in automotive news analysis. She covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin.
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