Andretti and General Motors develop new strategy to earn F1 entry

Apr 15, 2023; Long Beach, California, USA; Team owner Michael Andretti speaks with media after Andretti Autosport driver Kyle Kirkwood (27) of United States wins pole position during qualifying at Long Beach Street Circuit. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

As negotiations with F1 continue, Andretti and General Motors continue with their efforts to join the grid.

At this stage, Andretti’s efforts to join F1 in 2025 are incredibly well-documented. Across the paddock and F1 news outlets, the American group’s efforts to convince Liberty Media they deserve a grid slot are being closely followed.

However, these attempts have become particularly intense in the last month – following the FIA’s approval of their entry process. Amongst several teams and applicants, only Andretti received the green light from the sport’s governing body.

This puts the attention on F1 and Liberty Media – who will discuss the financial permutations of an 11th team joining the grid.

Since Andretti declared their interest in joining the sport, there has been clear opposition. Initially, they made a bid to buy Sauber, but a last-minute collapse in negotiations saw this takeover fall apart. Subsequently, the path to starting a team from scratch began.

A crucial step for Andretti was their agreement with General Motors, who have committed to assisting in development – most notably in sidepod construction. For a team tasked with adding value to the sport, this deal was a huge breakthrough.

Michael Andretti on the pit wall at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2021

Unfortunately for the aspiring F1 team, this deal with a massive name like GM doesn’t seem to have swung negotiations in their favour.

In October, it was reported that F1 had conversations with GM about joining the grid with a team other than Andretti. Evidently, this is problematic.

The first issue, perhaps the most obvious, is the attempt to go against Andretti and undermine their efforts to join the sport. Perhaps more consequentially, however, these talks prove that F1 sees GM as a valuable asset for the grid.

Therefore, it makes criticisms of Andretti’s package more difficult to take seriously from a sporting perspective. As it has been for some time, the main issue is financial – with FOM unwilling to take a risk that could result in a loss in profits.

GM and Andretti to meet with Liberty Media

Of course, an 11th team wouldn’t bankrupt the sport. F1 is recording record levels of revenue. Still, this success is creating an environment that seems more than happy to keep the status quo.

According to the AP, General Motors and Andretti will capitalise on the Las Vegas GP to speak with Liberty Media.

Crucially, their talks could involve other senior figures of the company – as opposed to just Domenicali. Perhaps this could offer the US applicants a better chance of making their case. After all, this latest report claims that the F1 CEO is unresponsive to communications from Andretti.

Many obstacles still stand in the way of F1’s grid expanding to 11 teams. There are major incongruencies between Andretti, F1 and the FIA. These must be resolved for an agreement to be made.

Over the next few months, this story will evolve and – potentially – come closer to a conclusion.