One of 2022's greatest rumors was Andretti Global’s interest in joining the Formula 1 grid — one that was dashed time and time again. Now, though, new regulations making it easier for teams to express formal interest in joining the grid means that Andretti has teamed up with General Motors’ Cadillac Racing division to begin that process.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem announced earlier this week that F1's sanctioning body will allow for a new process that would allow prospective teams to express interest in joining the grid, which will kick off a formal review of said entries.
Essentially, this expression of interest requires something of an action plan to prove that the team in question is actually advanced enough to enter the F1 grid within a year of approval. Considering Andretti’s worldwide racing interests and success around the globe in series like IndyCar, Extreme E, and Formula E and the team is likely in a great position to have an entry prepared to hit the ground running.
Details on this joint venture are still unclear; this is quite literally just an announcement to show that GM, Cadillac, and Andretti are formally and legitimately committing to this venture. We don’t know when we could expect Andretti on the grid. We don’t know if the current EV-related technology partnership between GM and Honda will signal Andretti’s use of Honda powertrains in F1. We don’t know how Cadillac’s current relationship with Chip Ganassi Racing will be impacted. We also don’t know anything about drivers — although Michael Andretti noted during a press conference that he aims to have an American driver in the team. All eyes have been on IndyCar’s Colton Herta to fill that role, should he be able to acquire a super license.
The last time F1 opened this kind of formal expression of interest process was in 2013, which directly led to the entrance of fellow American Haas F1 team soon after. Since then, it’s been difficult to add an additional 11th team to the F1 grid; the decision process on allowing entries involves input from F1, the FIA, and F1's current teams — and those teams aren’t exactly interested in an additional team adding competition when it comes to securing points, Championship standing positions, and subsequently the distribution of post-season prize money.