General Motors has thrown its hat into the ring as a possible Formula 1 engine supplier for the 2028 season onward. This comes on the heels of their tie-up with the Andretti group as they await FOM approval to join the series in 2025.
GM would enter F1 using their Cadillac brand and have intention to team with Andretti with their own power train for 2028. The means Andretti would still need to seek an engine supply from an existing manufacturer for 2025 through 2027. Most likely Renault/Alpine.
The sticking point is the 10 existing teams worried about the prize money as it is currently paid out for the top 10 teams but an 11th team would leave one team in the wind. No one wants to be that team. Other teams at the sharp end of the grid also supply the smaller teams with engines so they don’t want their customers to be left out in the wind either. It’s a self-serving concern which, at some level, is understandable.
The other side of this coin is that Liberty Media has to capitalize on the US market while they have our attention. With Drive to Survive bringing throngs of American fans to the sport followed, or stalked, closely by American companies clamoring to get a piece of the action via sponsorships and marketing opportunities, the “Americanization” of F1 is in full swing and Andretti, and American group, would merely add to that notion.
These waves don’t often last forever so Liberty needs to decide quickly how much the want to exploit their investment while the tide is high and lure GM and other American manufacturers to the sport.
Is it any wonder the 10 existing team want to keep things as they are and cash in on the massive growth of F1? No. It’s also no wonder other teams want to enter F1 and cash in as well.
GM president Mark Reuss said: “We are thrilled that our new Andretti Cadillac F1 entry will be powered by a GM power unit.
“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.”
It is reported that Andretti and GM are in Las Vegas to lobby FOM on their application approval this weekend and should FOM decline, which I can’t see happening as it would go against what Liberty Media wants to do with F1 which is to say grow it in the US and exploit the market, GM may very well pump the brakes on their desire to enter in 2028.
Adding Audi and GM may go a long way to making the decision a safer bet for FOM and if they could lure Ford, Toyota, Honda (back) or another manufacturer, then 11, 12 or even 13 teams may be good for overall investment in F1 and the health of F1 but not good for the teams outside the top 10 but at some level, F1 has to think both tactically and strategically.
Some point to Haas F1 as an example of having an American F1 team in the series hasn’t moved the needle but Andretti and GM are a completely different combination with much deeper pockets and focus. It’s a different beast and one F1 should throw the dice on.