If Cadillac goes to Formula 1, what will it mean for Endurance?
Cadillac begins a new chapter in the history of the sport this year with a double-header Hypercar program with participation in IMSA and WEC (GTP in IMSA) in the Hypercar category. The new Cadillac V-LMDh will make its racing debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona, where three prototypes will start, two for Chip Ganassi Racing and one for Action Express Racing. For the WEC part, Ganassi will defend the interests of the American manufacturer, who sees in this Hypercar commitment a way to create a link between the track and the road. While we’re talking about Cadillac’s arrival in Formula 1, Cadillac Vice President Rory Harvey talked about a variety of topics in the two weeks leading up to the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Is this Hypercar platform part of Cadillac’s move towards an all-electric future?
We have a long association with the IMSA Championship. It gives us an opportunity to show what we do from a technology, performance, aerodynamics point of view. Cadillac has the successful V-Series and V-Series Blackwings. We are working with IMSA to maximize this opportunity by replicating some of these technologies on the road. Last year, we launched the Track Edition, which sold out almost immediately, and that shows what we’re aiming for in terms of target audience. Our stated ambition is to be fully electric by 2030, we have a 5.5-litre V8 and hybrid technology, so we are looking to learn and develop these lessons and incorporate them into our portfolio of electric vehicles.
As Andretti moves forward with the Cadillac F1 project, could this affect the Hypercar (GTP) program?
No, we are very excited about this opportunity. The process is just beginning. We are considering submitting an expression of interest. From our point of view, it will complement what we have seen in this series. We don’t think it will affect this series.
How important is Cadillac to the LMDh project?
We have racing breeds. It’s been over 70 years since we entered motorsport with the success we know. The USA is very important and the IMSA series is very important to us. In addition, we are trying to complete all this with the WEC, based on the common technical regulation. We sell Cadillacs around the world, which gives us greater reach and geographic reach that we also want to reach. We can complete all this if we manage to enter Formula 1.
Exactly what was Cadillac’s reaction after the announcement of this possible entry into F1?
We think it’s a great proposal in terms of collaboration between Andretti, General Motors and Cadillac. If we did not believe that the proposal met the requirements and gave us the opportunity to succeed, we would not have announced our intention to submit an Expression of Interest. There is still a long way to go in this process. The expression of interest and details have not yet been announced, which is the first step. We have to submit our Expression of Interest and then see how the process unfolds. I don’t want to speculate about some of the published articles. There is passion within. We will do everything we can in terms of expressions of interest to be able to show what we think we can bring to Formula 1.
We are approaching the 24 Hours of Daytona. Confidence de rigueur in the Cadillac camp?
Cadillac works very closely with the teams. The 5.5-liter V8 powertrain was developed by our Performance Engineering division in Pontiac, Michigan. The relationship with chassis supplier Dallara is also very close. It’s about making the most of the teams’ and equipment manufacturer’s strengths, putting everything together to have a competitive offer that’s as good as possible. All of our experts will be on site at Daytona. The work to optimize what we see during the race is collective. You also need to make sure you have everything you need in case of unexpected events. At a special event like the 24 Hours of Daytona, adjustments will inevitably be made. The teams are supported by General Motors in terms of experience and we combine these two elements in the hope of influencing the result.