Andretti and Cadillac team up to descend on F1!

Andretti soap opera

Michael Andretti, head of the Andretti Global group, has wanted to establish himself in Formula 1 for some time. Having considered buying Sauber – which eventually fell into Audi’s net – the American has not given up hope of starting his own team, only F1 and especially other team principals have not shown it. Andretti went there last year with some sensational statements, denouncing the arrogance of F1’s middlemen.

Formula 1 seemed to give limited credit to the Andretti project – despite the fame of its name – enthusiastically welcomed the arrival of Audi and turned a blind eye to Porsche – ultimately rejected by Red Bull – the majority of team principals, including Toto Wolff. most openly, they were very skeptical, reluctant to share the juicy Formula 1 cake with the 11th team. Moreover, now that discipline is so profitable, as a further deterrent, the latest Concord Accords introduced a $200 million entry ticket that could be required of any new entrant to offset the stalls. the value of the championship… F1 director Stefano Domenicali recently said that F1 does not need an 11th team. Only McLaren and Alpine – without a customer team – were more open.

Surprise Andretti-Cadillac announcement

Nevertheless, the FIA ​​seems to want to pull the rug out from under F1. Just two days ago, President Mohamed Bin Sulayem confirmed that his teams are looking to launch a call for applications to allow new teams to enter Formula 1. It is a project of the F1 team “100% American” materializes.

Andretti also mentioned the American driver’s desire to be part of the adventure, particularly with Colton Herta, the colt slated to replace Pierre Gasly at Alpha Tauri last year, when the project fell through due to lack of a super license. . Born out of this Andretti-GM association, the team will be located across the Atlantic in a new building currently under construction by Andretti Global in Indiana. The opening of the site is planned for 2025, and if it reaches Formula 1, an antenna will also be installed in Europe for obvious logistical reasons. As such, Cadillac will further commit to the LMDh program.

However, there is a question about the engine. GM and Cadillac have no history in Formula 1, recent or old, and even thinking about developing an engine block for 2026 seems too optimistic. Supply by an existing manufacturer would have been a more acceptable option, and Renault had already contacted Andretti to motor them. So can we conclude that Cadillac’s existence will be limited to a “branding” in the style of Alfa Romeo with Sauber?

Roasting on the line between F1 and FIA

Either way, the Andretti-Cadillac case crystallizes the increasingly apparent tension between F1 owner Liberty Media and the FIA. We are not yet back to the FISA/FOCA war of the Balestre-Ecclestone era, but we sense that a struggle for power and influence is shaping up. The FIA ​​reacted to Andretti/Cadillac’s announcement with diplomacy and caution: ““At the moment there is a lot of interest in the F1 project, there are a number of discussions going on that do not seem like the others.So says this press release, recalling the content of F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali’s recent comments when he talked about candidates more reserved than Andretti. “We all want to ensure the championship remains credible and stable and any request for a new commitment must be assessed by all relevant stakeholders against criteria that achieve these objectives. Any new request for a commitment requires the agreement of F1 and the FIA.”

Let’s face it, we can understand why F1 doesn’t want to relive the late 80s, when many eccentric projects (Onyx Moneytron, Andrea Moda, Life, etc.) and even the expansion of 2010 (HRT Racing, Virgin and Lotus) proliferated . It did not give anything very sensational, but Andretti is the main structure, the historical name and, above all, an additional lever in the unprecedented explosion of popularity of F1 in L’Oncle Sam, not forgetting the new opportunities that it offers to adapt to the pilots. and develop technical partnerships.

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