F1 Teams in Las Vegas Remain Cold to Andretti Joining the Series: ‘What’s the Name Worth?’

Jackson Wheeler
4 Min Read

Even on Michael Andretti’s home turf of the United States, Formula 1 team representatives in Las Vegas this week don’t have a lot of nice things to say and remain cool to adding the Andretti Cadillac entry to the grid.

And not even Cadillac’s announcement earlier in the week that the manufacturer had formerly registered to be a power unit supplier to Formula 1 beginning in 2028—ideally with Andretti Cadillac—was able to add much of a boost to the Andretti bid.

Andretti Cadillac has been approved by the FIA, but Formula 1 itself still needs to sign off on the addition of an 11th team. And that means F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali and chief stakeholder Liberty Media head Greg Maffei. Andretti is working toward a goal of entering Formula 1 as early as 2025.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, when asked about the Andretti Cadillac entry on Friday in Las Vegas, hardly sounded like someone waiting to welcome Andretti Cadillac with open arms.

“Well, GM is one of the big players, no doubt,” Wolff said. “And I guess if they say they want to join the sport in ‘28, they’re serious about it, and it’s a good commitment. But, you know, we need to see whether the Commercial Rights Holder deems this to be a good entry or not.

“For many teams (adding an 11th team) is big dilution that can make the difference between, you know, big losses or less losses. And I haven’t changed my opinion on that. We haven’t seen any data, just to say it’s going be awesome. Where’s the case? What are the numbers? How much can we gain in popularity? What’s the name worth? How much more can the sport be attractive? What are the facts? And if those facts are positive, I have no doubt that F1 will consider that in that way.”

auto nov 16 f1 las vegas grand prix

Ferrari’s Frederic Vasseur is not rolling out the welcome mat for an Andretti Cadillac entry in Formula 1.

Icon Sportswire//Getty Images

Team principals, while they don’t have an actual vote on the matter, do have the ear of Domenicali.

“If the question is on GM, I think every single new engine supplier is welcome in F1,” Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur said. “But it’s not the same story as the 11th team. It’s two separate questions. I think the real question is on the engine supplier and we can have a new engine supplier.

James Vowles of Williams is also all-in on GM, but not so much Andretti. It’s all about protecting his own team’s interests.

“I just think (GM) is the sort of company, the sort of OEM, that will grow our sport as a result of things,” Vowles said. “But my view hasn’t changed on the addition of an 11th team. Fundamentally, it’s still around the finances of Williams, which is where my focus is.”

Headshot of Mike Pryson

Mike Pryson covered auto racing for the Jackson (Mich.) Citizen Patriot and MLive Media Group from 1991 until joining Autoweek in 2011. He won several Michigan Associated Press and national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for auto racing coverage and was named the 2000 Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club’s Michigan Motorsports Writer of the Year. A Michigan native, Mike spent three years after college working in southwest Florida before realizing that the land of Disney and endless summer was no match for the challenge of freezing rain, potholes and long, cold winters in the Motor City.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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