General Motors will not break its partnership with Andretti Global to enter Formula One and is not interested in considering other teams to gain entry to the global motorsports series, an executive with the U.S. auto giant told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
“GM is committed to partnering with Andretti to race in F1,” GM President Mark Reuss told AP. “The collaboration between Andretti-Cadillac brings together two unique entities built for racing, both with long pedigrees of success in motorsport globally.”
General Motors plans to send a small group of executives to next week’s Las Vegas Grand Prix in hopes of jump-starting conversations with F1 and series owner Liberty Media about the Andretti application. Andretti told AP at last month’s U.S. Grand Prix that F1 President Stefano Domenicali was not returning his calls or texts.
A month ago, F1 governing body FIA said Michael Andretti's application was the only one of seven applicants to meet all required criteria to expand F1's current grid from 10 teams to 11. The Andretti application is in partnership with General Motors and its Cadillac brand.
Approval from the FIA has been met by near silence from both F1 and Liberty Media. The AP reported last month that F1 had asked General Motors to consider finding a partner other than Andretti. Reuss closed the door on that possibility Wednesday.
Andretti has a car already built to the 2023 F1 regulations that it tested at a wind tunnel in Germany, and Andretti Global is continuing to move forward with its plans to join the series. There is a tight timeline to be ready for the 2025 season and frustration is clearly building at Andretti and GM.
The only public comment made by F1 and Liberty was a terse statement that promised nothing: “We note the FIA’s conclusions in relation to the first and second phases of their process and will now conduct our own assessment of the merits of the remaining application,” F1 said last month.
Liberty and Domenicali have consistently sided with the majority of the existing 10 teams, which vehemently oppose expanding the 20-car grid, citing a potential loss in revenue.
The teams, who have no vote on expansion, contend that adding two more cars from an Andretti team means less windfall during the F1 season. There is a $200 million anti-dilution fee for any new entrant, but those opposed claim expansion still cuts into their profits and they've invested too much to share the pot.
The teams also contend that Andretti should buy a team rather than expanding the grid. No teams are publicly marketing themselves, however, and Andretti in 2020 already tried to close a deal that would have taken over the existing Sauber team.
Andretti has promised to be a true American team at a time when F1 has expanded to five races throughout North America. He's said he wants California native and current IndyCar driver Colton Herta to drive for Andretti Global in F1, and has argued that the Andretti name brings considerable value to the series.
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.
AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing