IndyCar racer auditions for F1 driver list as Andretti bid ramps up

Jamie Woodhouse
Andretti Global and Cadillac logo lockup

Andretti Global and Cadillac saw their bid to enter F1 rejected.

Andretti’s IndyCar racer Kyle Kirkwood hopes his name is on the shortlist should Andretti-Cadillac make it to the Formula 1 grid.

Andretti-Cadillac find themselves in the middle of a power struggle of sorts between the FIA and Formula 1 over their push to be accepted onto the grid.

The FIA has given the green light with president Mohammed Ben Sulayem stressing that Andretti-Cadillac would be “good for the sport”, while Formula 1 and its teams are not so sure, financial concerns at the centre of that.

Kyle Kirkwood hopes to be Andretti-Cadillac F1 candidate

Their bid has though been given a major boost with the confirmation from Cadillac’s parent brand GM that they intend to become a Formula 1 power unit manufacturer from 2028, something which F1 team bosses had been calling for.

So, if this is the development which finally paves the way for Andretti-Cadillac to join the F1 grid, Kirkwood hopes he is in with a shout of being one of their drivers.

Kirkwood is already very familiar to Andretti as he races for their IndyCar team, the 25-year-old a two-time winner with the outfit.

Colton Herta, a team-mate of Kirkwood, has been identified as Andretti’s top pick for an F1 seat if they make it onto the grid.

“I hope they consider me then,” said Kirkwood, as per recommends

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Kirkwood did make it clear that his focus remains very much on IndyCar, describing it as “the best class in the world”.

But, Formula 1 meanwhile is the pinnacle and if an offer came his way, he would feel “obliged” to say yes.

“But right now, I’m really happy with the situation I’m in,” he continued. “I enjoy being in the United States. I love being able to go to Florida and the amount of free time you have in IndyCar compared to Formula 1. I like the minimal distances you have to travel in IndyCar.

“Having said that, that was always what you wanted to achieve growing up in karts. You always looked up to Formula 1. Especially in Florida, where it’s very South American and European in the karting scene.

“It would be hard for me to say ‘no’ to anything there. If I had a chance in Formula 1, I would probably be obliged to go for it, as I think most drivers in our class would say.

“That doesn’t detract from what IndyCar is, because I think IndyCar is the best class in the world because of the way it treats its drivers, how the racing is, the camaraderie between the drivers, the nice places we go to, the quality of life – I think it’s all top notch in IndyCar. At the same time, Formula 1 has always been the king class of motorsport. So it would be hard to say ‘no’ there.”

That being said, Kirkwood explained that his attitude has shifted over the years away from his past belief that driving an F1 car is the only way to make his life feel “complete”.

“I remember when I was very young I thought that if only I drove a Formula 1 car, that would make my life complete,” he said.

“I remember that changed and thinking, ‘Well, if I drive the IndyCar and whatever, then my life is complete because this is the direction I’m going.'”

Andretti-Cadillac aims to join the F1 grid in 2025, should the series finally open the door.

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