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Andretti Formula Racing

Why F1 teams are still reserved over Andretti despite GM commitment

Michael Andretti has been pushing to join the Formula 1 grid for some time and has now secured a partnership with General Motors - but current teams are still reserved over the potential entry.

Vowles Wolff Vasseur Las Vegas
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To news overview © XPBimages

Michael Andretti's proposed Formula 1 entry has been a consistent talking point ever since the ex-racer revealed his plans to join the grid.

The reality of the Andretti set-up becoming an 11th squad took a major leap forward when the FIA approved its entry earlier this year, passing the negotiations to Formula One Management for commercial discussions.

As well as the success that Andretti has enjoyed across various motorsport categories, its effort to join the F1 clique possesses the unignorable presence of General Motors (GM).

F1 teams have largely been against Andretti's entry due to fears over its impact on the end-of-year revenue payouts.

But GM recently confirmed that it has registered as a power unit manufacturer from the 2028 season through its Cadillac division, highlighting the extent of its desire to have a part in the F1 show.

“I saw the same news you did,” Williams' Team Principal James Vowles told media including RacingNews365.com. “I can't really comment much on it. I don't know what the relationship is between those two entities [Andretti and GM].

“I just think they're the sort of company, the sort of OEM, that will grow our sport as a result of things.

“But my view hasn't changed on the addition of an 11th team. Fundamentally, it's still around the finances of Williams, which is where my focus is.”

Wolff's reservations

GM has also asserted that it is only interested in taking a position on the F1 grid with Andretti, a blow for FOM and F1 teams who were hoping to reap the rewards without the sacrifice.

While GM's existence in the automotive world is unquestionable, Mercedes' Toto Wolff has asserted that a successful F1 entry goes far beyond what looks good on the surface of a commitment.

GM is one of the big players, no doubt,” he said. “And I guess if they say they want to join the sport in 2028, they're serious about it and it's a good commitment.

“But we need to see whether the Commercial Rights Holder deems this to be a good entry or not. Like James said, for many teams it is big dilution that can make the difference between big losses or less losses. And I haven't changed my opinion on that.

“We haven't seen any data, just to say it's going be awesome. Where's the case? What are the numbers? How much can we gain in popularity? What's the name worth? How much more can the sport be attractive? What are the facts? And if those facts are positive, I have no doubt that F1 will consider that in that way.”

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