Andretti apply further pressure on F1 with new Silverstone factory unveiled

Thomas Maher
Andretti Global factory, Silverstone.

Andretti Global has revealed a new factory facility at Silverstone.

Andretti Global isn’t taking its F1 rejection lying down and has confirmed its next step in preparation for entry into the sport.

Despite the Andretti Global team being very strongly rejected by Formula 1 three months ago, the American-led squad has opened up a team facility at Silverstone.

Andretti’s new British home unveiled

Having applied for entry into Formula 1 in the coming years, the Michael Andretti-led squad had the support of governing body the FI and its president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, but hit a very firm roadblock as commercial rightsholder Liberty Media released a detailed statement to reject their proposed entry.

But, despite this obstacle, Andretti have carried on with their preparations aimed at entering Formula 1 and, on Wednesday, revealed they have created a new facility.

Taking out a lease on the newly-constructed Unit 1134 at Silverstone Park in Towcester, the unit is only a stone’s throw away from the circuit and from the Aston Martin F1 facility opposite the circuit’s main gates.

Michael Andretti was joined by his illustrious father, 1978 F1 World Champion Mario, to open the facility – which will host the already existing 80-strong UK workforce of Andretti Cadillac.

The 48,000-square-foot building is being hailed as a “milestone” by Andretti, with the independent property allowing the team to scale up activities “as the situation evolves.”

Able to facilitate manufacturing processes, including a model and machine shop, there’s plenty of room for electronics development and R&D, and the aim is for the new facility to work alongside the Andretti Global facility in Indiana, as well as alongside their Formula E facility in Banbury.

A press statement from Andretti said that the F1 project preparations “began some time ago with a focus on critical activities such as assembling key staff and focusing on long lead-time activities including aerodynamic design, mechanical design and vehicle dynamics.

“The new facility will be completed in phases according to commercial and sporting needs and workforce requirements.

“We have said that our work continues at pace – this new facility embodies that work. While we are building an American works team, having a European base is a great way to attract the best in F1 talent and install state-of-the-art machinery.”

With Andretti not a part of the Formula 1 championship at present, all F1 regulations – including the financial regulations that dictate the budget cap and capital expenditure – don’t apply to them. This means the burgeoning team has ample opportunity to get a full infrastructure in place, provided it has the financial resources, if it is confident of securing an eventual F1 entry.

PlanetF1.com recommends

Stars and racing stripes: Six American teams that failed to crack F1

Why have US giants Ford returned to F1 and partnered with Red Bull?

What did F1 say when rejecting the Andretti operation?

F1 released a 1434-word statement to the media to clarify the reasons behind the rejection of Andretti Global, with the main crux of their argument being that an 11th team wouldn’t necessarily add any value to the championship.

The justification for this is that an 11th team needed to show that its involvement would be of material benefit to the championship or to the CRH (commercial rights holder).

“The most significant way in which a new entrant would bring value is by being competitive, in particular by competing for podiums and race wins,” said the statement.

“This would materially increase fan engagement and would also increase the value of the Championship in the eyes of key stakeholders and sources of revenue such as broadcasters and race promoters.”

Andretti’s link-up with Cadillac through General Motors, a huge coup for the entry, didn’t sway F1 either.

While GM would link up with Andretti, the manufacturer would not be a power supplier initially – instead being a ‘silent partner’ for the first few years. F1 said a GM power unit supply from the outset would have “enhanced its credibility”, although a novice constructor and novice power unit supplier “would also have a significant challenge to overcome.”

With the chassis and power unit regulations also going through revolutionary changes between 2025 and ’26, requiring very different designs on both fronts, F1 also scoffed at the suggestion that Andretti would design and build a car for the final year of the current regulations only to immediately design and build a car for the new regulations almost immediately.

Without a GM power unit from the get-go, F1 also explained that the existing power unit manufacturers – one of whom would be made to supply an engine based on the sporting regulations forcing them to do so – would “inevitably be reticent to extend its collaboration with [Andretti] beyond the minimum required while [Andretti] pursues its ambition of collaborating with GM as a PU supplier in the longer term, which the compulsory PU supplier would see as a risk to its intellectual property and know-how.”

As a result, F1 said there’s no basis to allow a new applicant in for 2025 and questioned Andretti’s own attitude towards the regulations by saying: “The fact that [Andretti] proposes to do so gives us reason to question their understanding of the scope of the challenge involved.”

Despite Andretti’s success in other motorsport categories, F1 also said that the sport ” represents a unique technical challenge to constructors of a nature that [Andretti] has not faced in any other formula or discipline in which it has previously competed, and it proposes to do so with a dependency on a compulsory PU supply in the initial years of its participation.

“On this basis, we do not believe that [Andretti] would be a competitive participant.”

F1 also explained that, on the power unit front, the challenge facing a new power unit manufacturer is not one to be underestimated. Citing how “major automotive manufacturers have struggled in the past”, F1 conceded that GM has the resources and credibility to do so but that “success is not assured”.

F1 would ‘bring more value to Andretti’ than the other way around

Examining Andretti’s application through a commercial lens, F1 said the team could provide value to the championship provided they are competitive. However, F1 bluntly said: “We do not believe that [Andretti] would be a competitive participant”.

While the regulations do have a clause to force existing power unit manufacturers to supply customers that can’t find a willing partner, F1 has shied away from making that happen by saying it would be “damaging to the prestige and standing” of the sport.

In a real poke in the eye for Andretti, the statement also said: “While the Andretti name carries some recognition for F1 fans, our research indicates that F1 would bring value to the Andretti brand rather than the other way around.”

F1 also said they could not forecast any material positive effects on financial results for the CRH, while also placing additional operational burdens on race promoters alongside a reduction in technical, operational, and commercial opportunities for the other 10 teams.

“We do not believe that the Applicant has shown that it would add value to the Championship,” concluded the statement.

“We conclude that the Applicant’s application to participate in the Championship should not be successful.”

However, the door might not be completely shut for Andretti who, only this week, revealed they are continuing with a full-speed-ahead approach to preparing for a possible F1 entry over the next year or two.

F1 said the prospect of entry into the 2028 championship with GM backing, either as a factory entry or a customer team, could be looked upon differently, particularly in respect of bringing a new OEM into the sport.

Finally, while many of the current F1 teams made their lack of enthusiasm for an Andretti entry very obvious, F1 said their assessment of Andretti’s application “did not involve any consultation with the current F1 teams.

“However, in considering the best interests of the Championship we took account of the impact of the entry of an 11th team on all commercial stakeholders in the Championship.”

Read Next: Potential Andretti F1 opening emerges after shock Helmut Marko reveal