ADVERTISEMENT
michael and mario andretti f1

Andretti: I’m devastated

michael and mario andretti f1

Mario Andretti said he was devastated after Formula 1 rejected the Andretti Cadillac bid to become the 11th team on the grid despite the project being given the go-ahead last year by the FIA, the sport’s governing body.

While F1’s governing body gave the go-ahead and sanctioned their bid after a tedious application and due diligence process. Resistance by most of the current ten teams proved enough to convince Formula 1 Management and its Chief Stefano Domenicali not to reject the bid.

Mario Andretti said on Twitter: “I’m devastated. I won’t say anything else because I can’t find any other words besides devastated.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Andretti Cadillac released a remarkably resigned and tepid statement shortly after the news broke: “Andretti and Cadillac are two successful global motorsport organisations committed to placing a genuine American works team in F1, competing alongside the world’s best.”

“We are proud of the significant progress we have already made on developing a highly competitive car and power unit with an experienced team behind it, and our work continues at pace. Andretti Cadillac would also like to acknowledge and thank fans who have expressed their support,” concluded the statement. But no word from Michael yet.

The decision comes as a shock as much of the F1 world including fans (among them most of our readers if the comments are anything to go by) and certain media outlets, including ours, were keen for Andretti Cadillac to be added to the grid. One more team also means two more drivers. But that is not to be for the foreseeable future.

With F1 booming in the USA, the country will host three GPs in 2024, more than any other host nation with a slew of American corporations buying into the sport whose commercial rights are owned by US conglomerate Liberty Media including the likes of Moneygram, American Express, Visa, Oracle, Meta and more, have signed on as team sponsors over the last three seasons.

FOM: An 11th team would place an operational burden on race promoters

DHL makes Grand Prix shipment to Abu Dhabi - Logistics Middle East

The AP reports that F1 did not consult with the existing 10 teams in reaching its decision. But, the series said, the expansion would stress many existing operational procedures: “The addition of an 11th team would place an operational burden on race promoters, would subject some of them to significant costs and would reduce the technical, operational and commercial spaces of the other competitors.

GM has already begun the development and testing of prototype technology. The American auto giant has stated that “building an F1 engine will help the advance in areas including electrification, hybrid technology, sustainable fuels, high-efficiency internal combustion engines, advanced controls and software systems.”

F1 indicated it wants GM to succeed, a process the series believes will take years: “Coming to the sport as a new (power unit) manufacturer is also a huge challenge, with which major automotive manufacturers have struggled in the past, and one which can take a manufacturer a number of years of significant investment to become competitive.

“GM has the resources and credibility to be more than capable of attempting this challenge, but success is not assured.”

F1 has set new engine regulations for 2026 that emphasize 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 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.

When the FIA initially opened the process for teams to express interest in joining F1, 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, had hoped to be competing in 2025.

We would look differently on an application for the entry of a team in 2028

f1 andretti cadillac formula 1

F1 put an end to those hopes Wednesday, though the saga could now be headed to court even as F1 acknowledged it is willing to revisit the issue: “We would look differently on an application for the entry of a team into the 2028 Championship with a GM power unit, either as a GM works team or as a GM customer team designing all allowable components in-house.”

“In this case, there would be additional factors to consider in respect of the value that the Applicant would bring to the Championship, in particular in respect of bringing a prestigious new OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to the sport as a PU supplier,” the report adds.