Formula 1: General Motors to join F1 motorsport, to supply engines

  • The governing FIA has approved an expression of interest from Andretti to enter as an 11th team but Formula One is still considering the application.
General Motors Formula 1
US-based General Motors is vying to enter Formula 1 motorsport as the carmaker is keen to offer its engines to a new F1 team Andretti Cadillac from 2028.
General Motors Formula 1
US-based General Motors is vying to enter Formula 1 motorsport as the carmaker is keen to offer its engines to a new F1 team Andretti Cadillac from 2028.

General Motors has formally registered with Formula One's governing body to provide power units for a proposed Andretti Cadillac team from 2028, the U.S. carmaker announced on Tuesday.

The governing FIA last month approved an expression of interest from Andretti to enter as an 11th team but Formula One is still considering the application. "We are thrilled that our new Andretti Cadillac F1 entry will be powered by a GM power unit," said GM President Mark Reuss in a statement issued ahead of this weekend's Las Vegas Grand Prix, one of three races in the United States.

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"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."

The move will add to the pressure on Liberty Media-owned Formula One Management, whose head Stefano Domenicali has said the decision to expand has to be right for the business.

Turning down one of the world's top carmakers, and one of the biggest yet to compete in Formula One, could backfire badly for a sport eager to win over American audiences and with an increasing number of major sponsors from the region.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who told Reuters last month that he wanted more teams, welcomed the development.

"Delighted with the news that GM have registered as a PU supplier for FIA F1. This is a further endorsement of the FIA's PU regulations. The presence of iconic American brands Andretti and GM is good for the sport," he said on X, formerly Twitter.

Most of the existing teams are opposed to an 11th diluting their share of the profits, but have no ultimate say in the decision.

They argue that a $200 million compensation payment to be shared among them is not enough, given that some teams are valued at more than $1 billion.

They have also questioned the project's credentials and whether it could be a true works outfit or just sponsorship with a brand name stuck on someone else's engine.

Michael Andretti, son of 1978 world champion Mario, said last month that he was still aiming to enter the championship in 2025 and had a 2023 specification car ready to go in the wind tunnel.

"At the moment it's '25, it could be '26 but we'll see," he said at the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin.

Formula One will have new engine regulations from 2026, with GM set to be the seventh manufacturer if Andretti secure approval. Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, Audi, Honda and Red Bull-Ford are already committed.

GM said its development and testing of prototype technology was already underway.

"Engineering a F1 power unit will advance GM’s expertise in areas including electrification, hybrid technology, sustainable fuels, high efficiency internal combustion engines, advanced controls and software systems," the carmaker said.

Andretti had an agreement with Alpine for an engine for the initial seasons but Bruno Famin, new boss of that Renault-owned team, said recently the deal had lapsed.

"Technically the agreement went out but once we get our approval then that'll be fixed," said Andretti. “We're not worried about that."

First Published Date: 15 Nov 2023, 08:58 AM IST
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