General Motors has announced official plans to produce its own Formula 1 power units (meaning both engines and hybrid components) starting in 2028, and to make them for Andretti Cadillac. This is a big announcement given that there's a catch: F1 hasn't approved Andretti's entry into the sport. What we're seeing is GM throwing some of its multi-billion-dollar weight around.
Alongside Cadillac's previously-announced plans to join the proposed Andretti Global F1 team, General Motors has announced plans to build Andretti's F1 proposal into a factory-backed powerhouse that can work on chassis and engine design in concert.
Andretti Global, which was the only team approved by the FIA in its recent search for viable new F1 teams, still needs approval from F1 itself before it can enter the championship. That process is ongoing and has become contentious, with direct quotes from executives suggesting an open attempt by current members of the F1 grid to bring GM in without accepting Andretti's team. Williams executive James Vowles has optimistically suggested an intent to poach GM as a partner after loudly objecting to Andretti's F1 bid and reporting from the Associated Press suggests that F1 itself has requested the company abandon Andretti to partner with an existing team, but GM president Mark Reuss stated simply this week that "GM is committed to partnering with Andretti to race in F1."
This is to say, F1 wants GM's involvement, but it wants its time and engineering and money to flow into one of its existing teams. GM wants in on F1, but it wants to do so with one of GM's own tight partners. GM wants to do things its way. Honestly, calling Andretti "one of GM's own partners" is understating Andretti here though. Andretti is a massive name in American racing: the biggest Honda team in IMSA, winner of a third of the last 15 Indy 500s, reigning Formula E champion.
The addition of a unique engine partner committed only to their program makes Andretti's bid far and away the most complete proposal to join the series since Toyota entered as a 12th team in 2002, but it will not change the simple truth that an 11th F1 team means reduced revenue for ten other teams already on the grid. While that argument may be odious to anyone who does not currently own a Formula 1 team, it is still something Andretti and Cadillac will have to navigate to get their place on the F1 grid.
If Andretti Cadillac is approved as an 11th team, the team would have to operate with an engine provided by another supplier from 2025 through 2027. With new engine regulations set to be introduced in 2026, that partnership will span two generations of powertrain with whatever manufacturer they choose. Alpine was initially expected to be that partner, but the French brand said that its deal to supply engines to the team expired last month.
While the team itself is still in flux, GM joins Honda and Audi in announcing intentions to build a powertrain for F1's new simplified engine regulations, which go into effect in 2026. Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari, Alpine, and Red Bull's in-house engine shop will continue as engine suppliers when the new regulations kick in, although Red Bull's engine program will add a crucial partnership with Ford that introduces another manufacturer's name to the grid.
In addition to its upcoming Formula 1 program, Cadillac currently races in the IMSA GTP and FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar classes with the new-for-2023 V-Series.R racer. Action Express Racing, one of two factory teams running under the Cadillac Racing banner, won this season's IMSA championship by just 21 points. GM also runs factory-backed programs in GT racing in both sports car series, NHRA drag racing, NASCAR stock car racing, and IndyCar open wheel racing. Future Cadillac F1 partner Andretti, notably, currently races against GM programs as a factory partner of Honda in both IMSA GTP and IndyCar.
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