It’s been generally known for several months now that Michael Andretti has wanted to join the Formula 1 ranks as a team owner, having set up a Special Purpose Acquisition Company to raise funding for the venture. Not everyone believed it would actually happen, given the rarified gigabuck reality of F1 that makes the bar exceptionally high for anybody interest in joining the circus. This week’s announcement that Andretti Global is teaming with Cadillac to form a new team, the series’ second under American ownership, was still a stunner. Cadillac already has a huge footprint in U.S. road racing, and the Andretti name remains magic throughout the world of motorsport. With GM money behind it, this F1 dream should become a reality.
There’s solid reasoning at work here that goes beyond the Haas team’s current presence in Formula 1. An American-based entertainment conglomerate now owns the series, which has since made major inroads into the consciousness of U.S. race fans. The already established F1 race at COTA in Texas has been joined by another F1 round in Miami that was a blowout success in its opening outing last year, plus Formula 1 is now at work building a new circuit in Las Vegas for a third U.S. race set for later this year. According to some published reports, Cadillac will be a branding partner, with the team’s engines initially set to be provided by an existing F1 powertrain supplier, with Renault mentioned as one of the possibilities.