Michael Andretti has been trying to get the Andretti name into F1 for a while now and it looks like he might finally be making some progress with the news of a joint entry bid with General Motors.
Andretti Autosport and GM-owned Cadillac are pursuing entry into the sport after FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, announced the organisation’s plans to implement an “Expressions of Interest” process.
As Andretti told the media, “It’s been well documented Andretti Global has a desire to enter the Formula 1 World Championship. So at this point, I’d like to thank the FIA and President Mohammed for their recent interest in exploring an Expression of Interest process. I appreciate his transparency and willingness to be open to this process.
“Today I’m very, very excited to announce that Andretti Global has partnered with General Motors to pursue an expression of interest.”
As of right now, there’s no set date on the proposed entry, as it is unclear how long the expression of interest process will take. But Andretti is confident that the team is “going to be on track as soon as it all makes sense to be on track.”
Despite receiving pushback from the Formula 1 organisation, Andretti feels that the implementation of this new process and the leadership of Ben Sulayem shows that they have “very, very, very good shot” of entry.
“The president has definitely shown that he really would like to have an 11th team on the grid at least,” said Andretti. “He is a racer so understands the importance of it for the series itself. We feel very confident that once the expression of interest goes out – especially having a great partnership with Cadillac – we have a very, very, very good shot at checking every box and being able to be on the grid soon.”
Who’s Powering the Power Unit?
The team has apparently secured a power unit supplier though who that supplier is we don’t know. Andretti uses Honda engines in IndyCar, so that would be a logical partner, but a deal with Renault has also been rumoured.
General Motors General Manager, Mark Reuss, said, “We have signed an agreement with a power unit supply to begin with. Then as we move forward, we’ll bring a lot of our expertise to create things for the future as well.”
When asked if their supplier was Honda, Reuss danced around the question, “Obviously we do have a large partnership with Honda with EVs, and we also compete against Honda in series’ like IndyCar (through the Chevrolet brand). So we do have that natural respect and relationship – which is not problematic at all, but we’ll talk about the engine at a later date.”
Translation: we have an engine supplier, it’s probably Honda, but eventually we want to move everything in-house.
Where Will They be Based?
The team will be based in the U.S. at Andretti Global headquarters’ huge new complex currently under construction in Fishers, Indiana with a support facility in the U.K. similar to Haas’ practices, another U.S team. The complex is expected to start operations in 2025.
As per Andretti, “Our main headquarters will be here in the United States, in Fishers, where we announced our facility which is going to be one of the most advanced racing facilities in the world when it is completed.
“We will have a satellite shop over in Europe as well because we will be running more than just Formula 1 in Europe – we will be in other series as well, so we’re going to have a big headquarters over there.”
What is Required for Entry into F1?
For Andretti and Cadillac to enter the sport, they require support from both the FIA and F1 itself, including the current teams. Only two teams have been publicly supportive of Andretti’s entrance. They key concern is the potential financial impact of an 11th team on the grid.
A new team joining F1 is required to pay a $200 million USD fee acting as a dilution fund that is split across the grid. This is to make up for the further splitting of the prize money that another entrant will cause. The next step is to build a car that adheres to FIA guidelines before nominating two drivers.
Applications for entry include:
- A team name, including the name of the chassis
- The make of the car and its engine
- An agreement that the team will take part in each event on the F1 calendar
- Two nominated drivers
- Confirmation that the applicant has read and agrees with the terms and conditions set by the FIA
After the application is put forth, the FIA performs background checks to ensure the team has the finances, resources, and experience for a sustainable future in the sport.
It is unclear how the “Expression of Interest” process will change this.
The process is long and expensive which is why most new entries are rebranded existing teams, like Audi plans to do with Alfa Romeo in 2026. Haas are the only completely new team to join F1 in several years, and even then, that was due to Marussia F1 collapsing in 2014 forcing them to auction off their assets, which Haas bought (including the team’s Banbury headquarters).