Andretti move step closer to F1 as Cadillac reveal power unit project

The proposed US entry still has to secure a deal with the other teams on the grid before the plans become reality.

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Andretti Global took one step closer to securing its spot on the Formula 1 grid for 2026 after partner Cadillac announced their intentions to build their own power units for 2028.

Cadillac was announced as a partner of Andretti Global’s new F1 project in January of 2023, nearly a year after the first details of the potential new team were revealed.

Concerns surrounding Andretti’s entry into F1 included issues flagged that Cadillac wouldn’t build their power units and would instead use rebadged Renault power units, before the deal between the pair collapsed.

But in October of 2023, the FIA accepted Andretti’s application to become the sport’s 11th team, leaving a financial agreement with FOM to secure before confirming their entry.

“We are thrilled that our new Andretti Cadillac F1 entry will be powered by a GM power unit,” General Motors President Mark Reuss said in a Cadillac statement. 

“With our deep engineering and racing expertise, we’re confident we’ll develop a successful power unit for the series and position Andretti Cadillac as a true works team. 

“We will run with the very best, at the highest levels, with passion and integrity that will help elevate the sport for race fans around the world.”

New manufacturer era dawning

When turbo hybrid regulations arrived in F1 in 2014, only three manufacturers, Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault, committed to the new rules, with Honda joining one year later in 2015 in partnership with McLaren.

However, no more manufacturers joined the quartet due to rising costs and various issues across the automobile industry, which prevented the Volkswagen group from entering F1.

To make the engines cheaper to run and to add more manufacturers to F1, the FIA announced in August 2022 a new set of regulations which saw the complex MGU-H hybrid component of the power unit removed and ICE power output reduced.

Within days of the regulations being announced, Audi announced at the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix that they would take over the Alfa Romeo-Sauber outfit for 2026.

Red Bull announced in February that Ford, who have been absent from F1 since 2004, would partner with the team in their in-house power-unit programme in preparation for entry in 2026.

Honda, who had initially announced they would exit the sport at the end of 2021, signed a contract before the 2023 Monaco GP to become Aston Martin’s engine supplier for 2026.

Cadillac’s announcement means seven manufacturers are committed to the new regulations, the highest the sport has seen since 2006.

Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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