Andretti-Cadillac chief Michael Andretti has warned teams against the prospect of them joining the F1 grid that they would “deprive racing fans” of positive progress for the series.
With FIA approval granted, the union of Andretti Autosport and General Motors brand Cadillac is attempting to join the Formula 1 grid, with GM having now committed to becoming a power unit manufacturer from 2028 should access be granted.
But while the reception from F1’s governing body the FIA has been warm, the same cannot be said from F1 itself, with the majority of teams against the idea of expanding the grid to 11 teams via Andretti-Cadillac, while president F1 Stefano Domenicali has had very little to say.
Michael Andretti: ‘Can’t imagine anyone would want to try to stop us’
The prospective team is pushing ahead as if their entry is official, with a group of 120 staff said to now be in place and at work, overseen by technical director Nick Chester, who contributed heavily to the 2005 and 2006 Renault-Fernando Alonso title doubles.
A great risk potentially, considering the scenario where Andretti-Cadillac is not accepted by F1 remains on the table, though Michael Andretti cannot see why that would come to pass, arguing that if it did, the series would be costing fans the chance to see “a genuine American works team” battling the “legendary names” housed in F1.
Of them Williams and Mercedes have been the most vocal against the idea of Andretti-Cadillac joining the F1 grid.
“As Mohammed [Ben Sulayem, FIA president] has said a number of times, the benefits we will bring to the sport and the championship are so obvious,” Michael Andretti told The Athletic.
“I can’t imagine anyone would want to try to stop us, and deprive racing fans of the opportunity to see a genuine American works team going head-to-head with the legendary names currently competing in F1.”
With the assistance of GM, parts are reportedly already in production for Andretti-Cadillac and windtunnel testing in Toyota’s Cologne facility is well underway, with the team looking at as early as 2025 to begin their F1 journey.
Michael Andretti is certainly pleased with the progress he has seen so far, making it clear that “we don’t underestimate the task”.
“Time is always of the essence in F1,” he said.
“We’ve been working as fast as we possibly can to ensure we have as competitive a car and as strong a team as possible when we do take our place on the grid.
“It takes time to build competitive race cars. I’m very happy that we have made so much progress already on long-lead activities such as aerodynamic design and simulation.
“We don’t underestimate the task.”
Indeed, Andretti-Cadillac would not come to Formula 1 ready to make up the numbers. As Chester put it, “it’s a team that wants to do it properly and wants to win”.