Andretti still optimistic about F1 plans, but hoping for clarity from FOM

“There was a lot of different meetings going on for lots of different reasons, but we’re just here to show that we’re still working forward – our goal is to be in Formula 1 in 2026 so our work continues at pace.” Michael Andretti knows exactly what the message is to anyone wanting to know more about the Andretti Cadillac Formula 1 project.

The words “our work continues at pace” have become regular additions to the end of press releases and statements from the team, despite the ongoing uncertainty over an entry.

The Andretti team was once again present at the Miami Grand Prix this weekend and held talks with FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, following meetings with Formula One Management (FOM) earlier in April.


Those meetings with FOM took place when Andretti officially opened its Silverstone facility that has been housing a number of people that are already working on the F1 project, and the investments are not slowing down.

Andretti Global

“[Progress at Silverstone is] very good,” Andretti told RACER on Sunday morning at Hard Rock Stadium. “There’s a lot of building going on there, there’s a lot of building going on at General Motors, and also a lot of building in our Fishers headquarters, so there’s a lot of work happening.

“It’s a risk, for sure, but I think it shows how much we believe in this. We believe it’s great for Formula 1, we think it would be great for American fans, and to bring a company like General Motors into Formula 1 I think is huge. We believe in it that much that we’re willing to roll the dice.”

One of the reasons Andretti is willing to make that gamble is because it’s not just his existing racing outfit or partners such as Group1001 and its CEO Dan Towriss who are putting chips on the table. It’s the level of ambition being shown from GM as well that the team owner highlights as a significant driving factor in the ongoing work.

“[GM is] very committed, very excited,” he said. “I think people will not understand, until we show them, the effort that’s being put in on both sides. This is going to be rival with Ferrari and the Mercedes, the effort that’s being put in with such a great company like GM.”

As it stands, though, all of the investments that are being made – including running a 2025-spec car in the wind tunnel in order to aid learning for 2026 – have been met with resistance from FOM in terms of being granted an entry.

Andretti says he has been asking for more clarity and solutions to the current impasse rather than solely reasons not to expand the grid, but says there is still time available to make progress before the situation starts to become critical.

“Yeah we’re working, we’re trying to get more communication [with FOM] and see what we need to do to get in,” he said.

“No, we’re not there yet [at the point of pausing investments] but it’s getting timely. We’re going to need some answers here soon, but we have some things that we’re working on and hopefully we’ll have some answers soon.”

With a huge OEM in the form of GM behind him and substantial funding that has led to plenty of money being spent on the project so far, Andretti does have a compelling case to join the grid. But FOM’s analysis led to a rejection for 2025 and 2026 earlier this year, with a 2028 entry with a GM power unit being the focus instead.

A letter signed by multiple cross-party members of Congress last week was sent to Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei suggesting there are “concerns with apparent anti-competitive actions” in not having yet admitted Andretti. The timing ahead of Miami was clearly pointed from those behind it, and it is understood the situation was not well received by F1 CEO Stefano Domenical, although Andretti insists he was not a catalyst in getting Congress involved.

“I was 100 percent surprised, I stay out of that,” he said. “I’m just here to build the team and that’s what I’m doing, but for sure it’s great to have people like them looking at what’s going on and getting behind us.”

It was just the latest development in a long-drawn-out situation that looks far from being resolved any time soon. But given he was trying to petition the existing F1 teams for support in Miami two years ago, Andretti does believe progress has been made.

Asked if he feels closer to getting on the grid, he unequivocally confirmed: “Oh yeah, for sure.”

Story originally appeared on Racer