- General Motors to join forces with Andretti Global to enter Formula 1, and will be called Andretti Cadillac.
- The new team will submit an official Expression of Interest when F1’s governing body soon.
- The popularity of F1 in the U.S., thanks in no small part to the Netflix series Drive to Survive, has created the fertile environment we see now
On the back of the unprecedented popularity of Formula 1 in the U.S., mainly thanks to hit Netflix series, Drive to Survive, two iconic American names—General Motors (Cadillac) and Andretti Global— have joined forces to create a team to enter F1. The team will be called Andretti Cadillac. The FIA, Formula 1’s governing body, recently announced it would allow new teams to join the grid, opening the door to the new American team.
The hugely popular Drive to Survive debuted on Netflix in 2019, creating a fertile environment for the explosive growth in F1 fans across the country and for America to host an unprecedented three F1 Grands Prix races in 2023.
Local F1 fans however, have not had a hometown hero to root for since Scott Speed left Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2007. When Speed joined the Italian team in 2006, he was the first American driver to compete since Michael Andretti last raced in 1993. In fact, the last time an American driver won an F1 race was when the 1978 F1 world champion Mario Andretti captured the Dutch GP win in 1978. Meanwhile, local fans will be encouraged to learn that American Logan Sargeant will be lining up on the 2023 F1 grid with the Williams team.
The Cadillac brand will no doubt bring name recognition for new American fans, and the Andretti name—thanks to the three-generation dynasty created by Mario, Michael and Marco—still holds weight among a wide range of demographics in the U.S. and beyond.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem announced the opening of an ‘Expressions of Interest’ process for potential new teams to join the grid at the turn of the new year, which prompted Michael Andretti to announce his Andretti-Cadillac team’s potential entry to F1.
Not all reaction was positive, though. “It is surprising that there has been some adverse reaction to the Cadillac and Andretti news,” Ben Sulayem tweeted. “The FIA has accepted the entries of smaller, successful organizations in recent years. We should be encouraging prospective F1 entries from global manufacturers like GM and thoroughbred racers like Andretti and others. Interest from teams in growth markets adds diversity and broadens F1’s appeal.”
There is still a long way to go before this new team can line up on the grid, and no specific date was set for when Andretti Cadillac expects to enter its first race. If Andretti’s application is accepted, the team says it will “compete as soon as practical” and will employ at least one American driver.
Andretti—which races in IndyCar and Formula E among other series—previously sought to enter the championship on its own but struggled to gain traction. The addition of General Motors—which reclaimed the crown of the biggest automaker in the U.S. in 2022—will likely tip the scales in favor of the new team since the Cadillac name should help draw more American eyes to the series. The team would be based in the United States, with a support facility in the United Kingdom, similar to the approach taken by the Haas F1 team which is headquartered in North Carolina.
When two iconic American names join forces, great things can happen. Andretti is American racing royalty while Cadillac is a big name in luxury cars, backed by the biggest-selling carmaker in the world—GM. Apparently, Andretti’s bid to enter F1 met with a lukewarm response from certain quarters, with the Formula 1 organization itself saying it must agree to Andretti’s entry as well as the FIA. There may be at least one other rival team applying to enter F1 in the near future, but given the tight number of spots on the grid, plus the huge popularity of the sport in the U.S. now, and the iconic names of Andretti and Cadillac, the acceptance of this team has to be a foregone conclusion. Surely.