“Andretti Formula Racing aims for 2025 F1 entry, testing already underway”

Cadillac F1 (carbuzz.com)

Cadillac F1 (carbuzz.com)

“Andretti’s F1 entry nears reality as car testing commences, although there are still hurdles ahead.”

Earlier this month, Andretti Formula Racing received approval from the FIA to join the Formula 1 grid, setting its sights on an entry into the sport by 2025. Surprisingly, the team is further along in its development than anticipated, as it prepares to begin testing the aerodynamics of a 2023-spec car.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Michael Andretti stated, “Our car is actually going to be in a wind tunnel next week, so we have a car already built up in 2023 spec.” Despite the impending major regulation changes in 2026, Andretti aims to be on the grid in 2025.

The partnership with Cadillac, initially touted as part of the announcement, has raised questions, with no direct reference to the GM brand during the official announcement. This might be related to the ongoing UAW strike, with GM and Stellantis not wanting their names associated with substantial expenses at this time.

However, Andretti’s path to the F1 grid is not without its challenges. While the FIA granted approval, it still needs to gain the Formula One Group’s support, which controls the commercial rights of F1. Liberty Media currently owns these rights, and the existing ten teams on the grid possess significant influence. So far, only McLaren has openly backed the addition of an eleventh team to the grid, with some individual racers, including Sir Lewis Hamilton, expressing support for Andretti.

The primary issue revolves around income distribution. Existing teams are concerned that Andretti’s entry might not add value to the sport, potentially reducing everyone’s share of the revenue at the end of the season. To address this, new teams are required to contribute $200 million in their first year to the revenue-sharing pool, ensuring that no existing team incurs financial losses.

Andretti expressed his surprise regarding the resistance from the existing teams, saying, “I don’t know. It’s a mystery to me in some ways, why they’re pushing back. They say we’re slicing the pie, but I think the point is, hopefully, we bring in more than we’re taking away, and we really believe that. If you look at the fan support on all of the surveys that have been done, we think that we’re going to add to it, not take away.”

Indeed, the recent US Grand Prix drew approximately 440,000 attendees, ranking second only to the Australian Grand Prix with 444,631 spectators. The forthcoming Las Vegas Grand Prix is expected to surpass the attendance figures of the Australian event.

While the existing teams may be resisting Andretti’s entry, the inevitable allure of F1 in America, the financial opportunities, and potential PR consequences may lead to a resolution. Andretti is eager to compete, and Cadillac aims to promote the Lyriq, which could drive all parties to reach an agreement in the near future.