Cadillac To Race In Formula 1 With Help From Andretti

Formula One / Comments

General Motors has chosen Cadillac as its brand of choice to hit the F1 grid.

Andretti Global and General Motors have announced their intent to compete in Formula 1, representing the Cadillac brand. Should it be given the go-ahead, the team will be known as Andretti Cadillac and will be based in the USA with a support facility in the United Kingdom. The team also plans to hit the grid with at least one American driver.

Andretti Autosport noticed the growth in F1's popularity in the USA months ago, and now it has the full support of a brand with an impressive motorsport pedigree. GM wants to push Cadillac as a racier brand and has spent millions developing an LMDh car to compete in the 100th running of Le Mans later this year. And we thought the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing was as good as it's ever going to get before the brand switches over to electrification.

This somewhat left-field announcement follows a day after the FIA's president announced a new Expression of Interest process to get more manufacturers on the grid. Andretti Cadillac will submit its Expression of Interest once the FIA formally opens the process.

Andretti Autosport General Motors

Andretti Global is a worldwide racing enterprise and parent company to Andretti Autosport and its other racing activities. They currently compete in seven top-tier global series, the most famous of which is IndyCar. Formula 1 will become Andretti Global's halo series if this bid is successful.

It's no secret that Andretti Autosport has been working hard to get on the F1 grid, but it has received a lot of pushback from the FIA and Formula 1. The Andrettis were even willing to pay the $200 million entry fee before partnering with General Motors.

The latest press release does not stipulate a date, but Andretti Autosport stated that it wants to be on the grid by 2024. It doesn't want to wait until the new 2026 engine regulations kick in, so it will likely be on the grid before Porsche and Audi.

Nothing is standing in its way. The current Concorde Agreement allows 26 drivers on the grid, which means space for at least three new teams before the regulations change in 2026.

CarBuzz General Motors

This latest development may come as a shock, but it makes complete sense given F1's popularity growth spurt in the USA. The 2023 F1 season will comprise more races than ever, with three races in the USA. The Las Vegas Grand Prix will be the penultimate race of the season. It's also why we keep hearing rumors about other American brands like Ford wanting to partner with Red Bull.

General Motors likely wants in for two reasons. Win on Sunday, sell on Monday is still relevant, not to mention the marketing power it will get out of the cars once the 2026 engine regulations kick in. Cadillac already sells the Lyriq and has other incoming EVs like the Celestiq.

By 2026, F1's powertrains will be 50% combustion and 50% electric, and it's a great platform to convince people that EVs can be fun and reliable. Basically, if Caddy's battery technology can endure an F1 race, it should have no problem powering a Lyriq for 100,000 miles.

"General Motors is honored to team with Andretti Global on this historic moment in racing," said Mark Reuss, President of General Motors. "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."

"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," said Michael Andretti, Chairman, and CEO, of Andretti Global. "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 1 contender."

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