Andretti-Cadillac is seemingly the most ambitious bid looking to break into Formula 1 as soon as possible. The partnership, despite not being taken as seriously as it would like by other teams or F1 itself, is intent on getting its foot in the door, even if it has to take drastic action. That might mean making its own engine as soon as the rules allow.
As Autosport reports, GM Motorsport's Executive Director Eric Warren has stated an F1 engine program is under evaluation, and it's not a matter of if the automaker can do it, but if it actually makes sense. When asked if GM would construct its own power units, Warren responded, "We could, of course."
He didn't mince words, then. "It is something we are looking at. We are looking at power units," Warren added.
He stated that anything before 2026 is impossible because the deadline to sign on as an engine manufacturer that year has passed. It will more than likely be sourcing an engine from Renault if it manages to enter the grid before then. As soon as 2027 seems plausible, though.
"GM is motivated to be involved in the car and design, the whole process. It's not white-labeling an engine," he told Autosport in a not-so-thinly veiled jab at Ford. GM’s Dearborn rival has entered what is effectively an engine branding deal with Red Bull. The latter was courting such a partnership with an automaker before Ford stated any public interest to enter the sport.
The Andretti-Cadillac team may have other options as well. Honda, which already has ties to Andretti, could potentially be coaxed back into more F1 involvement. The Japanese automaker halfheartedly pulled the plug on its F1 engine program in the late 2010s just after it began seeing immense success. Its power units have powered Max Verstappen to two consecutive world championships. Red Bull is formally ditching Honda's power units for its own in-house design in 2026, though, which may open a window that GM and Andretti can take advantage of.
The allure of an in-house engine is real, though. The Detroit automaker already builds the bespoke 5.5-liter V8 for its V-LMDh car which has been competitive in the races it has entered so far. It's heading to Le Mans in June to fight for the overall win.
As we've written before, The General alone—even without mentioning Andretti's impressive new facilities—has the resources. The two together are a force to be reckoned with, and if Andretti-Cadillac wanted its own engine, it could have it. In fact, some of Warren's comments could be interpreted as the automaker having worries about its customer Renault engine's competitiveness. In the context of getting on track as soon as possible, he stated, "Our view is that we want to get racing and making sure we are competitive and then look in 2026 at what makes the most sense." If the Renault engine was a very strong unit, which it historically has not been, it seems unlikely Warren would make a statement like that.
Until Andretti-Cadillac's bid is formally approved, though, all we can do is speculate. More news about the team's future will be clarified when it actually exists on the grid, and until then, all of this is very much fluid. That being said, GM doesn't have much strong competition when it comes to fighting for a seat. If another team gets approved, it will likely be flying the stars and stripes.
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