Andretti-Cadillac’s Bid For 11th Formula 1 Team Hits A Major Roadblock
— 1 February 2024

Andretti-Cadillac’s Bid For 11th Formula 1 Team Hits A Major Roadblock

— 1 February 2024
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

For years, Michael Andretti — son of 1978 Formula 1 champion and motorsport legend Mario Andretti — has worked on several bids to enter an 11th F1 team. And his latest proposal seemed quite promising. That is until today’s announcement.

As some of you may recall, last October, Andretti Global’s joint bid with General Motors through its Cadillac brand had been greenlit by the FIA. Effectively, they’d been cleared to join the grid… as soon as they’d received the same approval from commercial rights holders Formula One Management.

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“The FIA is obliged to approve applications that comply with the Expressions of Interests application requirements,” FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem stated (via ESPN).

“And we have adhered to that procedure in deciding that Andretti Formula Racing LLC’s application would proceed to the next stage of the application process.”

“In taking that decision, the FIA is acting in accordance with EU directives on motorsport participation and development.”

Andretti-Cadillac's Bid For 11th Formula 1 Team Hits Major Roadblock

So where did it all go wrong? After conducting a thorough analysis involving key stakeholders, Formula One Management concluded an 11th team “would not on its own add value,” nor does it believe Andretti Global-General Motors would be a “competitive participant.”

However, this could all change once General Motors produces its own F1 engine, which is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2028 season. Formula One Management noted that it would “look differently on an application for the entry of a team into the 2028 championship with a GM power unit” — either as a works team or as a customer team designing all allowable components in-house.

The organisation continued: “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 [power unit] supplier.”

“The need for any new team to take a compulsory power-unit supply, potentially over a period of several seasons, would be damaging to the prestige and standing of the championship.”

“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.”

Other factors included the “operational burden on race promoters, [which] would subject some to significant costs.”

Andretti-Cadillac's Bid For 11th Formula 1 Team Hits Major Roadblock

As you can imagine, Michael Andretti — who himself competed for McLaren Racing circa 1993 — “strongly disagrees” with the decision, while his father has expressed how “devastated” he feels.

Despite this, Andretti Global-Cadillac remains positive about another future attempt: “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.”

Considering the potential dilution of prize money, the existing F1 teams weren’t exactly welcoming Andretti and Cadillac with open arms when the news of their joint proposal broke. Especially not after they poached staff from the likes of Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Ferrari, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, and McLaren Racing.

While the regulations outline that new entrants must cough up an anti-dilution fee of US$200 million to counteract this, the grid felt they were still getting stiffed given the values of these race outfits presently hovering around the three-comma benchmark.

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The FIA kicked off a formal application process back in February 2023 in search of one or more new teams that were interested in entering either the 2025, 2026, or 2027 season.

As previously alluded to by Mohammed Ben Sulayem, this time around, Andretti Global represented the sole applicant who made it beyond the second stage of said formal application. Other teams that fell by the wayside (earlier) in their latest campaigns included Rodin Carlin, Hitech, and Asia’s LKYSUNZ.

At the time of this writing, Formula 1 has 10 active teams with a maximum limit of 12 outfits until (and including the 2025 season) under the current Concorde Agreement — the document that binds the elite motorsport’s rules and governance.

Side note: despite Gene Haas’ assertions that they wouldn’t be “cashing out” in favour of racing competitively, in light of the chaotic s**tshow that is the Haas F1 Team, perhaps Mr Andretti should consider taking the easy route with a buy-in.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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