Andretti Autosport partners with Cadillac in attempt to join Formula 1

FILE - Team owner Michael Andretti looks on during practice for the IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix auto racing doubleheader on Belle Isle in Detroit, on June 11, 2021. If things had gone according to plan, Colton Herta would be in Miami preparing for the fifth Formula One race of his career. Instead, the 22-year-old Californian is headed to the inaugural Miami Grand Prix as a spectator. His boss, Michael Andretti, meanwhile, awaits any word whatsoever on his bid to start a Formula One team and bring a true American team to the grid. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
Could Andretti Autosport soon be a part of Formula 1? (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Andretti Autosport’s attempt to join Formula 1 is gaining steam.

The team announced Thursday that it had partnered with Cadillac for its F1 bid. Cadillac would provide the engines for Andretti’s potential team. F1’s current engine manufacturers are Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull’s rebadged Honda engines.

“We are continuing to grow Andretti Global and its family of racing teams and always have our eyes on what’s next," Michael Andretti said in a statement. "I feel that we are well suited to be a new team for Formula 1 and can bring value to the series and our partners, and excitement for the fans. I’m proud to have GM and Cadillac alongside us as we pursue this goal. GM and Andretti share a legacy born out of the love of racing. We now have the opportunity to combine our motorsport passions and dedication to innovation to build a true American F1 bid.”

The move to partner with Cadillac for its F1 bid comes after Andretti recently announced a partnership with Wayne Taylor Racing in IMSA. WTR had previously fielded Cadillacs in IMSA but now fields Acuras.

If the bid is successful, Formula 1 could have three new manufacturers in the series in the next few seasons. Audi and Porsche are entering F1 in 2026.

Andretti Autosport’s interest in Formula 1 has been no secret in recent years and could become easier given F1’s attitude toward new teams. There are currently 10 teams making up 20 spots on the F1 grid and the FIA recently signaled an openness to adding more teams to the premier series.

The Andretti name is no stranger to F1. Mario Andretti is a former F1 champion and Michael also competed in 13 F1 races in 1993. The team currently is most prominent in the IndyCar Series, where it has a four-car stable. But Andretti Autosport has struggled recently. Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta each won just one race in 2022 and Rossi was the highest-finishing Andretti driver in the standings in eighth.

If Andretti gets an F1 team, it's reasonable to believe that Herta will be a strong candidate to move to F1 from IndyCar. The 21-year-old has seven wins in 65 IndyCar Series starts.

Haas F1 is currently the only American team in F1 as the series has exploded in popularity in the United States thanks to the “Drive to Survive” docu-series. F1 added a second race in the U.S. in 2022 in Miami and there will be three races in the United States in 2023 with the addition of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.