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General Motors register as Formula 1 power unit supplier

General Motors registers as Formula 1 power unit supplier

General Motors register as Formula 1 power unit supplier

General Motors said Tuesday it has registered with Formula 1’s governing body to become an engine supplier starting in 2028 in what is seen as a huge boost to Michael Andretti’s bid to join the global motorsports series.

“We are thrilled that our new Andretti Cadillac F1 entry will be powered by a GM power unit,” GM President Mark Reuss said. “With our deep engineering and racing expertise, we´re confident we´ll develop a successful power unit for the series, and position Andretti Cadillac as a true works team.

“We will run with the very best, at the highest levels, with passion and integrity that will help elevate the sport for race fans around the world,” Reuss added.

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The announcement comes ahead of this weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, where three senior GM executives plan to be in attendance to help push Andretti Global’s bid forward with F1.

GM in January announced its partnership with Andretti Global under its Cadillac banner on Andretti’s application to join F1. GM doesn’t have its own F1 power unit and said its effort would be in conjunction with an existing manufacturer.

The FIA in July approved Andretti’s application, but it has yet to be accepted by F1. One of the criticisms has been that GM isn’t really entering F1, just backing Andretti as he uses another brand’s Cadillac-badged engine.

Now, GM has decided to build its own engine. If Andretti gets approved to join an expanded F1 grid, he would have to use another manufacturer’s engine until 2028.

GM said it has already started development and testing of prototype technology, and said building an F1 engine will help the automaker advance in areas including electrification, hybrid technology, sustainable fuels, high efficiency internal combustion engines, advanced controls, and software systems.

F1 in 2026 has set new engine regulations that places an emphasis on sustainable fuels and greater electric power. Six manufacturers have signed with the FIA to supply engines in 2026, including newcomer Audi, which will partner with Sauber. Ford also plans to return to F1 in partnership with three-time reigning champion Red Bull. Honda also plans to return as an official supplier in 2026.

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Andretti was the only applicant of seven to meet all the criteria for the FIA to expand the grid from 10 teams to 11, and with a car already built, hoped to be competing in 2025.

The plan had been for Andretti to use an existing engine manufacturer in collaboration with GM. But F1 does not seem impressed with the Andretti application, and The Associated Press reported in October that F1 asked GM to find another team to partner with instead of Andretti Global.

GM then told AP it will only team with Andretti. Even so, one of the arguments against the Andretti application has been that GM would be nothing more than a glorified sponsor with a Cadillac-badged engine.

The registration to become a power unit supplier strengthens GM’s positioning, but Andretti needs a decision from F1 very soon to be ready to compete in 2025. Although he had a deal with Renault to supply his initial engines, it is believed that contract has expired.

Andretti has promised to field a true American and said he wants California native and current IndyCar driver Colton Herta to drive for Andretti Global. Mario Andretti, his father, won the 1978 F1 championship and Michael ran 13 F1 races in 1993. The father and son are among the most successful racers in American open wheel history and rank third and fourth on IndyCar´s all-time win list.

California businessman Gene Haas owns an F1 team that he got via a 2014 application similar to the process Andretti went through this year. Haas launched in 2016 and plans to again use Kevin Magnussen of Denmark and Nico Hulkenberg of Germany next season. Haas is ranked last among the 10 teams in the constructors standings, while Hulkenberg is 16th and Magnussen is 19th in the driver standings. (Report by Jenna Fryer)