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Andretti partners with General Motors for Cadillac F1 bid

Christian Horner, Michael Andretti
Posted at 11:43 AM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 11:43:30-05

(AP) — General Motors will attempt to enter Formula One by partnering with Andretti Global under its Cadillac banner as it supports Michael Andretti's bid to launch a two-car American team.

Andretti has been lobbying the FIA, the governing body for F1, to expand the 20-car grid and join the series after a failed 2021 attempt to purchase Sauber. His petition to expand the grid has been met by fierce resistance from existing F1 teams who have argued an 11th team will dramatically dilute their revenues.

Andretti has continued to move forward with his desire — he's got financial backing to buy into F1, a deep-pocketed sponsor in Gainbridge, a new shop being built in Indiana, and now an engine and manufacturer partner in General Motors.

Andretti said in Thursday's announcement — the culmination of four months of negotiations with General Motors — that the American automaker provides the Andretti effort the additional value rival teams have argued new teams must bring to F1.

“One of the big things was ‘What does Andretti bring to the party?’” Andretti said. “Well, we're bringing one of the biggest manufacturers in the world with us now with General Motors and Cadillac. We feel that was the one box that we didn't have checked that we do have checked now. I think we'll be bringing a tremendous amount of support to Formula One and it's hard for anyone to argue with that.”

F1 immediately responded in the same tone it has since Andretti began pushing for expansion — by noting that it has several parties interested in joining the series and Andretti is simply the most visible. Andretti's father, Mario Andretti, is the 1978 Formula One world champion.

“There is great interest in the F1 project at this time with a number of conversations continuing that are not as visible as others,” F1 said in a statement. “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 the relevant stakeholders. Any new entrant request requires the agreement of both F1 and the FIA.”

F1 said no new teams could be added to the grid prior to the 2026 season.

Andretti said despite F1's statement, he still believes Andretti Global is the strongest applicant. He admitted F1 has not shared with him the other interested parties.