General Motors has officially registered to become a Formula 1 power unit manufacturer beginning in 2028, but there's a catch.
It plans to only do so if the Andretti Global entry, which was approved in early October by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) — F1's governing body — can clear the final hurdle of acceptance by Formula One Management (FOM), which is F1's commercial rights holder. The proposed Andretti entry has been vociferously opposed by many of the existing teams currently in F1. Despite the opposition, GM announced plans that the Andretti Global entry would become its official factory works team if the Andretti Global-GM bid is approved.
"We are thrilled that our new Andretti Cadillac F1 entry will be powered by a GM power unit," GM President Mark Reuss said. "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."
GM's announcement makes the FOM and existing teams' opposition to the Andretti entry a little more untenable and increasingly more unreasonable, according to Scott Mitchell-Malm at the-race.com.
"First Andretti was told to buy a team," Mitchell-Malm writes. "It tried. Then it was told to find a car company to partner with. It did. Then it was told, no, not a car company that lets you slap a badge on, a REAL works partner. Now it has ... it is surely being done specifically to get that F1 approval, which means Andretti and GM have regrouped in the face of ongoing opposition, looked at what else they could tangibly offer, and decided to put their money where their mouths are. ... You cannot help but be impressed by that. More importantly, it eliminates another argument being held against this would-be F1 programme — nobody can say with a straight face what they were saying earlier in the year, when they questioned whether this was a 'real' GM project."
With Formula 1 set for new engine regulations beginning in 2026, Ford has also announced that it would be re-entering F1 with Red Bull Racing after an absence of more than two decades. Red Bull Racing's team principal, Christian Horner, has gone on record as saying that if Andretti were to compete in F1, it needed to partner with an original engine manufacturer (OEM) to supply its power unit. Initially, the Andretti/GM bid called for use of the Renault power plant badged as Cadillac. Now, GM has stepped up its commitment to Andretti Global's F1 team.
Reacting to GM's announcement, FIA President Ben Sulayem took to social media to applaud the move.
Delighted with the news that GM have registered as a PU supplier for FIA F1. This is a further endorsement of the @FIA's PU regulations. The presence of iconic American brands Andretti and GM is good for the sport.https://t.co/02TLDV2g5c
— Mohammed Ben Sulayem (@Ben_Sulayem) November 14, 2023
"Delighted with the news that GM have registered as a PU supplier for FIA F1," Sulayem posted on X. "This is a further endorsement of the FIA's PU regulations. The presence of iconic American brands Andretti and GM is good for the sport."
If F1 and the teams relent and accept Andretti Global's entry now that GM has declared its intention to fully supply a power unit, the number of OEMs competing in the sport would rise to seven by 2028, with GM joining Ford, Audi, Mercedes, Ferrari, Honda and Renault. Good for the sport, indeed.
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