General Motors believes that the combination of its engineering expertise and the growth of the Cadillac brand makes now the perfect time to join forces with Andretti Global for a Formula 1 entry.
The two companies announced plans Thursday to partner to create Andretti Cadillac Racing in an attempt to join the F1 grid, with the FIA looking into opening up an Expressions of Interest period for prospective new teams. GM has never entered F1 but its president, Mark Reuss (pictured middle, above) says an involvement would compliment Cadillac’s existing racing projects, as it calls upon its American-based facilities to support the venture.
“I couldn’t be more excited to write this new chapter of racing history together,” Reuss said. “Like Andretti Global, General Motors and our brands have a long history in motorsports and a deep passion to race. Our racing pedigree has been forged on some of the greatest tracks and races around the world. Our hope is to add F1 to our competition portfolio. If accepted, I’m excited to announce that this all-American team would run under the Cadillac Racing mark.
“Like Formula 1, Cadillac’s global appeal is growing. In fact, Cadillac is one of the world’s fastest growing luxury brands right now. You could see that in some of our close of the year and the month here on Cadillac sales.
“In just a few weeks, Cadillac would begin the journey back to Le Mans by running the Rolex 24 At Daytona. And by racing, in IMSA, WEC and F1, Cadillac will have the opportunity to showcase its innovation and technology by going up against the best international luxury brands.
“At GM, we’ve always taken a lot of pride in transferring the cutting-edge technology developed by our race teams to our production vehicles, and taking it from the track to the street. For Cadillac that means V Series. Cadillac’s passion for performance is embodied in the V Series portfolio, which puts racetrack technology and performance into the hands of our customers.
“But our commitment to this program goes beyond the Cadillac livery. GM’s vast engineering resources will bring proven success and valuable contributions to this partnership. This includes all the talent and capabilities of GM racing staff and facilities in Michigan, at the Warren Tech Center and North Carolina, as well as the expertise of our engineers and designers in the areas like combustion, battery technology, turbocharging, vehicle integration, and the list goes on and on.
“So today is the first step in what we hope to be the historic entry of General Motors into F1. Never happened in our history — it’s very, very exciting for us to be with Andretti. And if given the opportunity, GM and Cadillac will compete with the very best at the very highest levels with passion and integrity that will continue to elevate the sport for the FIA and race fans around the world.”
Cadillac’s only commitment is with Andretti, and Reuss says the discussions that started about five months ago were instigated by Andretti but spoke to a pre-existing desire from GM to be involved in F1.
“I would say during what timeframe, would be the qualifier on that! At some point, General Motors during the history of, at least in my career, we would have loved to have gotten into Formula 1. But for various reasons, it was pretty tough to do that.
“Whether it was the leadership or the amount of money at that time, or where the company was, where the economy was, whatever those reasons were, over a long period of time, they were different. But I would say this opportunity, and Michael (Andretti), was just really, really important to us.
“So I would say, we weren’t searching necessarily to do it. But Michael kicked it off. And we were just, I personally was really over the moon. So it was great. And it just evolved in a really positive way.”