F1 rejects Michael Andretti's bid to join, will reconsider when GM has engine built

F1 rejects Michael Andretti's bid to join, will reconsider when GM has engine built

Formula One has rejected Andretti Autosport’s application to join the global racing series in 2025 or 2026 but said Wednesday it is willing to revisit the issue in 2028 when General Motors has an engine ready for competition.

General Motors under its Cadillac brand had signed on to partner with Michael Andretti’s push to join to the top racing series in the world — a bid that has received extreme pushback from the majority of the existing 10 teams and F1 leadership.

But the process became more complicated when GM said in November it had registered with Formula One’s governing body to become an engine supplier starting in 2028. That backed F1 into a corner because it would be very difficult to turn away one of the largest automakers in the world, particularly an American company at a time the series has gained massive traction in the United States.

The FIA in July approved Andretti’s application to expand the grid by two cars for his new team, but F1 took six months to do its own review. The FIA had given F1 a Wednesday deadline to make its decision.

“Our assessment process has established that the presence of an 11th team would not, in and of itself, provide value to the Championship,” F1 said in a statement. “While the Andretti name carries some recognition for F1 fans, our research indicates that F1 would bring value to the Andretti brand rather than the other way around.”

F1 is only interested in allowing Andretti in when General Motors has an engine built for competition. Had Andretti received approval for a new team, he would have had to use another manufacturer’s engine until 2028.

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“The most significant way in which a new entrant would bring value is by being competitive. We do not believe that the Applicant would be a competitive participant,” F1 said. “The need for any new team to take a compulsory power unit supply, potentially over a period of several seasons, would be damaging to the prestige and standing of the Championship.”

GM already has started development and testing of prototype technology, and it said building an F1 engine will help the automaker advance in areas including electrification, hybrid technology, sustainable fuels, high efficiency internal combustion engines, advanced controls and software systems.

F1 has set new engine regulations for 2026 that place an emphasis on sustainable fuels and greater electric power. Six manufacturers have signed with the FIA to supply engines in 2026, including newcomer Audi, which will partner with Sauber. Ford plans to return to F1 in partnership with three-time reigning champion Red Bull. Honda also plans to return as an official supplier in 2026.

Andretti was the only applicant of seven to meet all the criteria for the FIA to expand the grid from 10 teams to 11, and with a car already built, had hoped to be competing in 2025. F1 put an end to those hopes Wednesday, though the saga could now be headed to court even as F1 acknowledged it is is willing to revisit the issue.

“We would look differently on an application for the entry of a team into the 2028 Championship with a GM power unit, either as a GM works team or as a GM customer team designing all allowable components in-house,” F1 said. “In this case there would be additional factors to consider in respect of the value that the Applicant would bring to the Championship, in particular in respect of bringing a prestigious new OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to the sport as a PU (power unit) supplier.”

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