F1-How GM’s project to make engines impacts Andretti’s plans


This Tuesday, the General Motors (GM) registered with the International Automobile Federation (FIA) intends to be a supplier of power units in the Formula 1 in 2028 on. With this, the automaker strengthens the company’s plans Andretti to enter the category.

This is because the North American team had been facing resistance from the current teams on the grid to join the global motor sport elite precisely because it did not have an engine partner, as highlighted Christian Hornerfrom the Red Bull. With the new feature, the GM ‘raises the bar’ of Andretti.

Previously, the manufacturer of U.S was united with Andretti in the team’s endeavor to enter the F1 ‘only’ as a commercial ally, ‘borrowing’ the name of the Cadillacone of its brands, to the organization of Michael Andretti. This one, however, may now have its own engine in 2028.

And a ‘heavyweight’ power unit, given the market relevance of the GM. The automaker, in fact, registers with FIA precisely after committing to Andretti’s project of entering F1, refuting the possibility of entering the category in alliance with one of the current teams on the grid.

According to behind-the-scenes information, one of the teams that had ‘interested’ in GM was Williamswhose boss James Vowles He is a notorious critic of Andretti’s entry into the top category of world motorsport.

To what extent does GM’s registration strengthen Andretti’s chances of entering F1?

Photo by: Gregg Feistman / Motorsport Images

Michael Andretti

Although GM’s intention to produce an engine may, at first glance, strengthen Andretti’s claims for an entry into F1, things remain complicated in their combined efforts to convince the category and the current teams.

A few years ago, the union between a successful team, like Andretti, and an automotive conglomerate with racing experience, like GM, would have been a sure shot for a guaranteed entry into F1, but times have changed.

Now that F1 has become significantly more profitable and celebrated around the world thanks to its expanded media profile, also because of ‘Drive to Survive‘, current teams want to capitalize rather than allow an extra team on the grid — financially secure or not.

The FIA ​​has already evaluated Andretti’s entry and approved it, and it may be that the entity was already aware of GM’s plans to go beyond a financial partnership, supporting the team in technical terms as well.

If it were entirely up to the FIA, Andretti would already be approved for F1 2025 and preparing for a place on the grid: president Mohammed Ben Sulayem posted that he is “delighted with the news that GM has registered as a supplier of power units for the F1 Championship. This is a further endorsement of the FIA ​​regulations. The presence of the iconic American brands Andretti and GM reinforces the long-term sustainability of the sport.”

Andretti has the support of the body and may well convince some of the other teams that it is not there simply to take advantage of the existing infrastructure; it plans to bring in its own supporters and technical support.

Photo by: General Motors

General Motors announcement

Furthermore, there is the prospect of a GM x Ford battle, as the latter has partnered with Red Bull for its power unit program for 2026, which generates the old market dispute between the North American giants in F1.

A 2028 entry also ensures that GM’s project has time to mature, as it is a year or more behind the development curve of existing 2026 projects being undertaken by the other six manufacturers.

That said, success depends, in part, on the strength GM can exert in the market, as demand for engineers experienced in engine design is already beginning to far outstrip supply.

Does this put more pressure on F1 to accept Andretti?

In short, yes and no. The perception is that F1 denying an offer that has the support of an automotive giant would be very bad for the category. But it’s also true that accepting a team simply because it’s American in origin may not be very worthwhile, even though Andretti has apparently faced its main weaknesses and acted to bring something more to the table.

In any case, it remains to be seen whether this is enough for F1, as CEO Stefano Domenicali may still have legitimate concerns about the future of the Andretti-Cadillac project — which is expected to have Alpine engines in the first of its entry into the category. your ticket is accepted.

Well, F1 has the freedom to refuse Andretti’s offer, but the team’s ability to gain support in the United States could have future impacts. These consequences could undermine the progress F1 has made in the United States over the past five years.

Domenicali will have to navigate dangerous waters when negotiating with Andretti and GM, as he will not want to risk turning down an American brand while trying to attract others as F1 grows in the region.

A rift in the relationship between F1 and the FIA ​​has already begun to form, and Ben Sulayem’s decision to open the F1 registration process independently of the rights holder has all the hallmarks of a power play.

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Mohammed bin Sulayem, President, FIA, Greg Maffei, CEO, Liberty Media Corporation, on the grid

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing team director, Mohammed bin Sulayem, FIA president, Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media Corporation, on the grid

What will Andretti do in the short term if accepted?

Of note is the fact that GM has earmarked 2028 as its debut year in F1, while Andretti has secured an entry for 2025 or 2026, meaning the team would need a short-term supplier to power its first few years in F1. F1.

An option with Renault to supply its engine has now expired, and Andretti would need to negotiate with the French brand again if it wanted to secure a two- or three-year deal while GM accelerates its own plans.

“We had a pre-contract with Andretti, which expired because they had to receive an entry into F1 before a certain date,” explained Alpine F1 boss, Frenchman Bruno Famin.

“That means that right now, if we want to do anything with Andretti, we’re going to need to negotiate a full contract, a formal contract. So right now, we have absolutely no contract with Andretti.”

“Everyone knows what the situation is; we need something, and we need a decision from F1 before resuming with Andretti.”

If Andretti were to enter in 2025, it would need to partner with one of the four existing suppliers on the grid. As Renault only supplies its own Alpine team, it can be assumed that the dialogue would be reopened in this case.

If the team waits until 2026, that puts Honda and Audi in play as possible short-term partners. However, that ultimately depends on what F1 decides to do next; Andretti will only be able to start sounding out possible partners for its first years if it achieves the much-coveted entry into F1.

Will the goalposts move?

The common party line from existing teams is something along the lines of “we will accept the admission of an 11th entrant as long as it enhances F1’s commercial interests, but we must protect our own team and oppose any dilution caused by an additional team”.

That’s fair, but as F1 continues to grow and prosper in the current market, the championship must be in a position to accept more teams by the 2025-2026 target set by the FIA.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, the remainder of the field for the restart

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, the rest of the team for the restart

It’s hard to argue that GM’s introduction as an engine supplier does nothing other than increase the championship’s reach, especially in markets around the world where it has considerable reach.

But Horner’s quote was followed by a statement that suggests that the markers of what might be construed as a worthwhile entry might be changed: “When you look at how Audi entered the sport, they acquired a team and a franchise that was already existing ones. Should it be different for others?”, said the Red Bull boss.

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The article is in Portuguese

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