General Motors, the world's newly recrowned largest automaker, has partnered with Andretti Global in a bit to enter the FIA Formula One World Championship. According to statements from GM and Andretti, the group will be known as Andretti Cadillac and is planning to submit an Expression of Interest to the FIA when the motorsports governing body opens up its formal process. If the FIA selects Andretti Cadillac as a team, they plan to compete "as soon as practical with at least one American driver."
Andretti Autosport currently competes in the IndyCar Series, Indy Lights, Indy Pro 2000, and Formula E. Andretti's last venture with GM resulted in the duo winning Driver, Team and Manufacturer titles in the NTT IndyCar Series in 2012. So clearly the two powerhouse brands can work together successfully on the world motorsports stage.
"I feel very strongly that we are suited to be a new team for Formula One 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," Michael Andretti, Chairman and CEO of Andretti Global, said in a statement.
It's worth noting that GM has never had any real presence in F1, despite its long and storied motorsports heritage. Here in the United States, General Motors is most strongly associated with NASCAR and IndyCar racing with its Chevrolet brand, along with the many racing endeavors of its Corvette Racing team. Cadillac, however, has a strong presence in sports car racing and will race its all-new hybrid Cadillac V-LMDh globally in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship.
“Cadillac and F1 both have growing global appeal. Our brand has a motorsports pedigree that’s more than a century in the making, and we would be proud to have the opportunity to bring our distinct American innovation and design to F1.”
At this point, the ball is officially in the FIA's court. Exactly when a decision may come is unknown, but it certainly seems like it would be difficult to overlook the combined strength of GM's Cadillac brand and the Andretti name, especially at a time when American interest in F1 is growing alongside the group's increased activity in the U.S.
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