Cadillac-backed Andretti Formula 1 bid rejected for 2025

Cadillac-backed Andretti Formula 1 bid rejected for 2025



F1 chiefs have ruled out General Motors-backed team joining grid in 2025 – but have left the door open for 2028

Formula 1 chiefs have rejected plans by Andretti Autosport, backed by General Motors (GM), to enter the sport in 2025 – but have left the door open for the 2028 season.

Racing giant Andretti Autosport, which runs teams in Indycar and Formula E among other categories, had announced a bid to enter F1 in a partnership with GM’s Cadillac brand last year. The Andretti Cadillac squad wanted to enter the sport in 2025 using customer power units while GM developed the capability to build its own units.

Those plans were approved by the FIA, world motorsport’s governing body, late last year, but they also required the backing of Formula 1 owners Liberty Media, which control the commercial rights to the championship.

F1 chiefs have released a lengthy statement outlining why it does not believe Andretti Cadillac justifies a spot on the grid from 2025. Saying that its finding were based on the likely competitiveness of the entry, its commercial and logistical impact and its future power unit supply arrangements.

The statement noted that “the presence of an 11th team would not, in and of itself, provide value to the championship”. It noted that the most significant way for a new entrant to add value was by being competitive, but added “most of the attempts to establish a new constructor in the last several decades have not been successful.”

The statement added that: “While the Andretti name carries some recognition for F1 fans, our research indicates that F1 would bring value to the Andretti brand rather than the other way around.”

F1 chiefs did note that having GM provide power units would add commercial value, but also highlighted that was offset by Andretti’s plans to use customer engines while GM ramped up its programme, and that a new powertrain constructor would face a steep challenge to be competitive – especially with a new technical package due to be introduced in 2026.

The statement also highlighted challenges and extra costs an 11th team could cause for race promoters, and concluded that the bid “would not add value to the championship”, and therefore “should not be successful”.

Despite that blow, F1 chiefs did not close the door entirely on Andretti Cadillac – suggesting it could revisit ahead of the 2028 season. The statement said that “we would look differently on an application for the entry of a team into the 2028 Championship with a GM power unit, either as a GM works team or as a GM customer team designing all allowable components in-house.”

How Andretti gained FIA backing

While the Andretti bid has been rejected by F1 bosses, it has previously been approved by the FIA, which has long been keen to expand the grid of the top-flight category. 

The FIA launched a major push for new entrants last year, calling for expressions of interest before launching a more detailed application process. The bid from Andretti was one of four and the only one to receive FIA backing.

Under the Andretti Cadillac plan, the new operation would be based in the US but have a ‘support facility’ in the UK.

Andretti and Cadillac said they would prioritise the appointment of at least one American driver if successful in their bid to compete in F1. The operation is headed by Michael Andretti, a former F1 driver himself and the son of Mario Andretti, the 1978 F1 champion and founder of the Andretti Global enterprise.

One already-confirmed new F1 entrant is Audi, which from 2026 will apply its branding to the car run by Swiss team Sauber, which is currently partnered with Alfa Romeo. Sibling brand Porsche remains interested in entering the sport after scrapping plans to partner with Red Bull Racing. 

Andretti Cadillac would use an engine supplied by a third party but with technical support from Andretti and GM, which previously partnered to run the Chevrolet team in the 2012 Indycar Series, winning the driver, team and manufacturer titles. 

Racing in F1 wouldn't affect Cadillac's efforts in endurance racing. The firm has raced successfully in the IMSA Sportscar Champioinship since 2017 and took its efforts global last year year, entering its new V-LMDh racer in the FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the Le Mans 24 Hours race.

GM president Mark Reuss said when the F1 bid was announced: "General Motors is honoured to team with Andretti Global on this historic moment in racing. We have a long, rich history in motorsports and engineering innovation, and we're 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.”

Notably, a move into F1 would also coincide neatly with GM's planned push back into the European car market. The giant has been all but absent from the region since selling Opel and Vauxhall in 2017 but has said that it plans to return as an all-electric company in the coming years. Competing in F1 would no doubt be an effective marketing tool to support this commercial effort. 

New Zealand firm Rodin Cars, which manufactures the FZed and FZero single-seaters, had previously confirmed that it had lodged an application with the FIA that was rejected. The identity of the other two applicants is still unknown.

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