GM registers with Formula 1’s governing body ahead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix

GM registers with Formula 1’s governing body ahead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix

LAS VEGAS (AP) — General Motors said Tuesday it has registered with Formula One’s governing body to become an engine supplier starting in 2028 in what is seen as a major boost to Michael Andretti’s bid to join the global motorsport series.

“We are thrilled to have our new Andretti Cadillac F1 entry powered by a GM power unit,” said GM President Mark Reuss. “With our deep engineering and racing experience, we are confident that we will develop a successful power unit for this series, positioning Andretti Cadillac as a true works team.

“We will compete with the best, at the highest levels, with a passion and integrity that will help raise the standard of the sport for racing fans around the world.”

The announcement comes ahead of this weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, where three senior GM executives plan to attend to help move Andretti Global’s bid forward with F1.

GM announced in January its partnership with Andretti Global under its Cadillac banner at Andretti’s request to join F1. GM does not have its own power unit in Formula 1, and has said its efforts will be in partnership with the existing manufacturer.

The FIA ​​approved Andretti’s request in July, but it has not yet been accepted by Formula One. One criticism has been that GM is not actually entering Formula 1, but is merely supporting Andretti while he uses a Cadillac-badged engine from another brand.

Now GM decided to build its own engine. If Andretti gets approval to join the expanded F1 grid, he will have to use another engine from another manufacturer until 2028.

GM said it has already begun developing and testing prototype technology, and said building a Formula 1 engine will help the automaker advance in areas including electrification, hybrid technology, sustainable fuels, highly efficient internal combustion engines, advanced controls and software systems.

In 2026, Formula 1 sets new engine regulations focusing on sustainable fuels and increased electric power. Six manufacturers have signed with the FIA ​​to supply engines in 2026, including newcomer Audi, which will team up with Sauber. Ford is also planning a return to Formula 1 in partnership with three-time world champion Red Bull. Honda also plans to return as an official supplier in 2026.

Andretti was the only candidate out of seven teams that met all the FIA’s criteria to expand its grid from 10 teams to 11, and with a car already built, he hoped to compete in 2025.

The plan was for Andretti to use the existing engine manufacturer in collaboration with GM. But Formula 1 doesn’t seem to be impressed with Andretti’s application, and the Associated Press reported in October that Formula 1 had asked GM to find another team to partner with instead of Andretti Global.

GM then told the AP that it would only cooperate with Andretti. However, one argument against Andretti’s request was that GM would be nothing more than a glorified sponsor with a Cadillac-badged engine.

Signing up to become a power unit supplier strengthens GM’s position, but Andretti needs a decision from Formula 1 very soon to be ready to compete in 2025. Although he had a deal with Renault to supply his initial engines, he believes the contract has expired.

Andretti has promised to field a real American and said he wants California native and current IndyCar driver Colton Herta to drive an Andretti Global car. His father, Mario Andretti, won the 1978 Formula 1 Championship, and Michael ran 13 Formula 1 races in 1993. Father and son are among the most successful racers in American open-wheel history and are third and fourth on the all-time IndyCar winners list.

California businessman Gene Haas owns a Formula 1 team that he acquired through a 2014 application similar to the process Andretti went through this year. The Haas team was launched in 2016 and plans to use Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen and Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg again next season. Haas occupies last place among the ten teams in the constructors’ standings, while Hulkenberg is 16th and Magnussen is 19th in the drivers’ standings.

    (tags for translation) 13 Action News 

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