Andretti-Cadillac’s bid to join the Formula One grid has been officially rejected, confusing plenty of people that thought the team had a good chance of being the first American entrant since Haas. Despite the FIA making the motorsport franchise the singular finalist in its Expression of Interest process, F1 appears to have had a chance of heart.
The report issued on Wednesday morning stipulates that race organizers believed the Andretti-Cadillac team would not be sufficiently competitive — allegedly offering little value to F1 stakeholders while burning the other teams.
Considering that Formula One has been utterly dominated by a handful of names over the last two decades, your author isn’t sure why the above would actually matter. Mercedes and RedBull represent the vast majority of manufacturer wins, with the latter typically having to receive engine help from Renault or Honda. While Ferrari remains competitive, it hasn’t actually won the World Constructors’ Championship since 2008.
“We do not believe that there is a basis for any new applicant to be admitted in 2025 given that this would involve a novice entrant building two completely different cars in its first two years of existence,” F1 explained. “The fact that the Applicant proposes to do so gives us reason to question their understanding of the scope of the challenge involved.
“Formula 1, as the pinnacle of world motorsport, represents a unique technical challenge to constructors of a nature that the Applicant has not faced in any other formula or discipline in which it has previously competed,” continues the statement. “On this basis, we do not believe that the Applicant would be a competitive participant.”
If that’s the case, then why did Formula One even bother to put together a committee specifically designed to seek out new teams?
When General Motors opted to get involved via Cadillac. The brand had signed on to partner with Michael Andretti’s push to join F1 and become an engine supplier. However, the move resulted in most of the existing teams expressing their dismay. They presumably did not want the added competition. But F1 presumably liked the idea of getting the American company on board.
For better or worse, Formula One has been striving to become more popular inside the United States. Nabbing a racing team managed by a family synonymous with racing and GM could have helped F1 ride the wave and further increase viewership inside North America. Andretti-Cadillac would have been more clearly American than Haas, giving millions of viewers living in the U.S. someone to root for.
The whole thing feels like a major miss, likely driven by objections from the most popular teams already on the grid. There may have also been some European snobbery taking place, which is historically on brand for F1 organizers.
Considering that the FIA had approved Andretti’s application to expand the grid by two cars for his new team in July, it’s also very surprising. Despite the objections, everything seemed to be moving toward F1 getting an 11th team. But Formula One’s subsequent internal review has made that impossible.
“Our assessment process has established that the presence of an 11th team would not, in and of itself, provide value to the Championship,” F1 leadership explained. “While the Andretti name carries some recognition for F1 fans, our research indicates that F1 would bring value to the Andretti brand rather than the other way around.”
This is speculative, but your author had theorized that the big names in F1 actually feared the prospective team. Cadillac has been getting back into racing in recent years and made some impressive headway, particularly in endurance events. Meanwhile, Andretti Autosport had proven itself highly competent in IndyCar racing (which is arguably the motorsport most similar to F1) and was beginning to branch out into RallyCross and Formula E.
Officially speaking, F1 said it did not bother consulting with the other teams. However, they undoubtedly knew their opinion based on prior events and would have undoubtedly taken this into account — especially since the FIA seems pretty keen on seeing Andretti-Cadillac joining the grid.
Another possibility is that F1 is simply overseen by a cadre of elitist European scumbags, which would play perfectly into the sport’s long and storied history of that being the case.
But had Andretti joined up now, it would have had to wait several years before General Motors could supply engines. While GM said it had already started developing prototype powertrains and was excited about F1 forcing it to get better at hybridization while it dabbled in synthetic fuels. F1 believed it would take years for the automaker to become a competitive engine manufacturer, however, and wouldn’t have time in the run-up to the next season — especially as manufacturing rules were undergoing changes and higher entrance fees are drummed up.
“We would look differently on an application for the entry of a team into the 2028 Championship with a GM power unit, either as a GM works team or as a GM customer team designing all allowable components in-house,” F1 said. “In this case there would be additional factors to consider in respect of the value that the Applicant would bring to the Championship, in particular in respect of bringing a prestigious new OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to the sport as a PU supplier.”
Sounds like GM may have a shot at being an engine supplier for 2028. But that doesn’t really help Andretti now and the automaker has previously stated that it’s “Andretti or bust” in regard to its F1 aspirations.
Andretti Autosport hasn’t made any formal statements. But Mario Andretti took to social media to express his personal dismay. “I’m devastated,” he wrote on X. ”I won’t say anything else because I can’t find any other words besides devastated.”
Micheal Andretti, who serves as the team’s chairman and CEO, has not issued any comments on the topic yet. At the time of this writing, his most recent activity on social media is actually the man noting his unbridled excitement to have partnered with Cadillac to take on Formula One. I smell a revenge arc brewing here. But not one that I’d be comfortable waiting until 2028 to see, especially when it feels like F1 would simply snub the team again.
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