General Motors (GM) has moved a step closer to a shock Formula 1 entry after the FIA, world motorsport's governing body, approved an application by racing giant Andretti Autosport to enter the category.
The two American firms had announced a bid to enter F1 with a new team named Andretti Cadillac earlier this year, and those plans have now moved a step closer. However, while the application has been approved by the FIA, it must now be approved by F1's commercial bosses – a step that's far from guaranteed, since there has been reluctance within the F1 paddock to add an 11th team.
The FIA has been pushing for new entrants for F1 in recent months, originally calling for expressions of interest before launching a more detailed application process. The bid from Andretti was one of four and the only one to receive FIA backing.
Under the Andretti Cadillac plan, the new operation would be based in the US but have a ‘support facility’ in the UK, although no location for this has yet been given. The earliest that the team could take to the F1 grid would be 2025.
New Zealand firm Rodin Cars, which manufactures the FZed and FZero single-seaters, had previously confirmed that it had lodged an application with the FIA that was rejected. The identity of the other two applicants is still unknown.
The move comes as F1’s influence continues to grow in the US. The series will visit Austin, Miami and Las Vegas in 2023 and already has a US-based team on the grid in the form of Haas - at seven years old, the newest F1 team.
Andretti and Cadillac said they would prioritise the appointment of at least one American driver if successful in their bid to compete in F1.
The operation is headed by Michael Andretti, a former F1 driver himself and the son of Mario Andretti, the 1978 F1 champion and founder of the Andretti Global enterprise.
One already-confirmed new F1 entrant is Audi, which from 2026 will apply its branding to the car run by Swiss team Sauber, which is currently partnered with Alfa Romeo.
Sibling brand Porsche remains interested in entering the sport after scrapping plans to partner with Red Bull Racing.
Andretti Cadillac would use an engine supplied by a third party but with technical support from Andretti and GM, which previously partnered to run the Chevrolet team in the 2012 Indycar Series, winning the driver, team and manufacturer titles.
Racing in F1 wouldn't affect Cadillac's efforts in endurance racing. The firm has raced successfully in the IMSA Sportscar Champioinship since 2017 and will take its efforts global from this year, entering its new V-LMDh racer in the FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the Le Mans 24 Hours race.