GM insists Andretti Cadillac effort in F1 can be competitive



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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — General Motors reiterated Friday that work with Michael Andretti on a Formula 1 entry is “continuing to develop our car at pace” and that it completely disputes F1’s assertion that an Andretti Cadillac effort would not be competitive.

General Motors partnered with Andretti in early 2023 in its request that F1 expand the current grid from 10 teams to 11 so Michael Andretti can field a truly American team in the globe-hopping motorsports series. At the time, GM was only committed to badge engines for Andretti.

Long after F1 sanctioning body FIA approved the Andretti application, GM then formally applied to become an official engine supplier in 2028. In denying Andretti’s application last month, F1 said, among other things that it did not believe Andretti would be a competitive team; that the Andretti name does not bring the value to the series that Michael Andretti believes it would; and that getting on the grid in the next two years would be a challenge Andretti has never faced before.

F1 said it would be willing to reconsider an Andretti application when GM has an engine ready in 2028.

But both GM and the Andretti camp have been seething over how dismissive F1 was of Andretti Cadillac’s ability to put a competitive car on the racetrack. Asked about it Friday at Daytona International Speedway, the director of GM Racing said the company remains steadfast in the strength of its application.

Jim Campbell, however, twice declined to answer if GM was “insulted” by F1’s assertions.

“We feel great about our application. The FIA studied it against other applicants and then gave our application a vote of confidence and approval,” Campbell said. “So obviously (Formula One Management) made their statement, and we have asked for a follow up meeting with FOM and so we will work through that.

“We do believe between Andretti and Cadillac that we have got the capability of fielding a competitive entry. We are not saying that it is easy, but we do between our two organizations have examples in our history of where we have been successful in other motorsports categories and that is true of Cadillac and Andretti. Our joint teams are continuing to develop our car at pace. So, that is where we are at.”

Campbell also said that GM could build an engine for Andretti for the 2026 season, but because it had not initially planned to be a power unit supplier, it did not apply to be one when the new engine regulations begin in two years.

“When you register to be a power unit, there is a deadline to do that, and for us it was last June for 2028,” Campbell said. “If you wanted to develop an engine sooner, then you would have had to register the previous year for that. So, it’s simply a regulation.”

F1 in its rejection claimed that Andretti Cadillac did not respond to a December invitation for an in-person meeting to discuss the application. The Andretti group only learned of the invitation when F1 made the revelation, and its IT department found that an email sent Dec. 12 went to a junk mail folder.

The email was not from F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and there was no follow-up from F1 when it failed to receive a response from Andretti. F1 said Friday the invitation was sent from a senior staff member who had previously corresponded via email with the Andretti group.

Andretti Cadillac has since asked for a meeting with FOM.

“As I said, we believe in the application we submitted and in that application we articulated the abilities of both Andretti as a race team, and Cadillac as a manufacturing and engineering entity,” Campbell said. “So, we feel confident in the application and are asking for a meeting with FOM.”

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AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing



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