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Why F1 would be foolish to reject Andretti Cadillac entry

Why F1 would be foolish to reject Andretti Cadillac entry

Why F1 would be foolish to reject Andretti Cadillac entry

Why F1 would be foolish to reject Andretti Cadillac entry

Andretti Global has made its desire to join the F1 grid well-known over the past 12 months but whilst initial pushes were met with resistance, this latest development threatens significantly alters the landscape.

Since 1978 champion Mario Andretti outlined his son Michael's plans to enter F1 in 2024, the sport's established teams lay their battle plans on the table, voicing concerns about the value any potential new outfit could bring.

Such worries were behind the $200million anti-dilution fee introduced in the last Concorde Agreement, which aims to protect the loss of financial input teams receive from F1 in prize money, given an 11th team would take a share of the existing fund.

So how has the announcement of a collaboration with Cadillac changed Andretti's F1 outlook?

The weight of a manufacturer

What the present teams had suggested, notably Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, is that a powerhouse manufacturer would allay any dilution fears due to the value the name itself would add to the sport, increasing revenue worldwide.

It was essentially Andretti's biggest stumbling block. The racing pedigree of Andretti Autosports could not be questioned - championship wins in IndyCar and Rallycross, and race victories in Australian Supercars and Formula E speak volumes about that.

The breaking of ground for new headquarters in Indianapolis proved Andretti was serious about his F1 bid but still, the final piece of the puzzle was missing.

Enter Cadillac, one of four core brands housed within General Motors - a coup for Andretti to secure such a partnership and a feat F1 cannot ignore.

Think of the fanfare around the potential for one of Volkswagen's mighty brands in joining as just an engine manufacturer. Now there is the chance for an American equivalent to have a fully-fledged team.

There are some grey areas yet to be considered, the most important being the power unit supply - with a deal already struck with an existing manufacturer - but this should be the detail that pushes Andretti across the line.

The all-American effect

Value doesn't stop with just Cadillac, however.

F1 has been setting up a core fanbase in the United States for decades and since the introduction of Netflix's 'Drive to Survive' docuseries, the popularity has skyrocketed.

What better time to take advantage than when there are three US-based races, and an American driver in Logan Sargeant?

Whilst you could argue Haas is America's representative, it must be remembered that it operates out of Kannapolis, Banbury and Maranello.

Andretti Cadillac Racing, however, will be fully American. Everything in relation to the car beyond the PU supply will come from Indianapolis, with the assistance of Detroit.

If that doesn't add pull and value, what will?

Cadillac racing pedigree

In fairness to Cadillac, this is not a shot in the dark for Andretti.

The marque has cemented itself as a winner in sportscar racing, taking the IMSA title in 2017, 2018, and 2021, and winning the Daytona 24 Hours on four consecutive occasions in that period.

As the endurance world evolves, Cadillac will be at the forefront of the LMDh class in both IMSA and the World Endurance Championship.

That pedigree will only be added to with an F1 entry, but the successes prove that this is no joke.

The move will also disregard any fears of a repeat of the Virgin, Team Lotus and HRT failures last decade.

Before Cadillac entered the picture, Andretti had a strong claim for an F1 spot but certain aspects of its bid allowed blocks to be made.

As Andretti Cadillac Racing, however, how can F1 and the FIA possibly ignore its efforts?

The short answer - it is now impossible.

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