Formula 1 is always keen on new manufacturers. Now one of the world’s largest auto companies in the United States, he finally wants to join.
F1 has been the love of most major automakers over the years, but General Motors has always eschewed it.
This may have been the result of a clash of priorities between the traditionally Europe-centric championship and companies clearly prioritizing monopolizing market share in the United States (which is (which, in fact, extends to General Motors, which has been aggressively selling off global projects in recent years).
The stars are now aligned. General Motors was seduced by Michael Andretti to make a joint bid for him to F1 and congratulated Cadillac to use his brand to do so.
But why General Motors and Cadillac?
First, General Motors has prioritized growing Cadillac into a global brand, and it has been suggested that leveraging the exposure F1 provides will be a key part of its strategy.
This has clearly worked before, but with F1’s rapid rise in popularity in the United States and the addition of the Miami Grand Prix to the calendar last year and the addition of a new race in Las Vegas, it is clear that the market is on the rise. is becoming more relevant now that there is a clear commitment to prioritizing this year.
“Obviously, these races are very important,” said General Motors president Mark Reuss.
“Where we haven’t been in a long time, or where we haven’t been in a long time, as we expand Cadillac into a global brand, this series will provide exposure as Cadillac and the brand grow globally.
“That’s a big factor, too.”
The second factor is that General Motors had welcomed an involvement in F1 for some time, but perhaps it was postponed due to costs.
That’s not to say it was passionately pursuing anything, but it would have opened up a sensible opportunity. , the conditions were never suitable.
General Motors was not aggressively pursuing F1 this time either. Andretti led the discussion. Existing teams will look at this with horror as it could be seen as a question mark to General Motors’ actual interest and commitment, but the bottom line is that General Motors has probably found a more cost-effective route. That’s it.
“General Motors would have wanted to be in Formula 1 [before] However, it was very difficult to do so for various reasons. Whether it was the leadership, the amount of money at the time, where the company or the economy was,” Royce said.
“Whatever their reasons were, they were different for a long time.
“We weren’t necessarily going to do it, but Michael kicked it off and I was personally really overjoyed.”
According to the official statement, the conversation began “four or five months ago.” This marks Andretti’s identification of General Motors as a potential partner.
This wouldn’t have been worth it if Michael Andretti had found himself barking up the wrong tree. Much cheaper than if you want to start something from scratch.
Nor should you underestimate how important General Motors and Cadillac’s involvement is to Andretti. Especially when General Motors invests in the team and pledges significant financial and technical resources.
Elevate a project from another independent customer team to a team with full working team potential. Riding on the grid should push Andretti’s performance cap, but it also helps him get there in the first place.
The championship bosses may have been wary of Andretti before, but the possibility of another American team on the grid after Haas merging with major brands like Cadillac and companies like General Motors is unlikely. , is a serious heavyweight combination on paper.
If it doesn’t seriously stimulate F1’s interest, then the logical conclusion is that either Andretti’s side is considered to be the problem, or General Motors’ role is perceived as less involved than it appears on the surface. It will be.
If General Motors were considering partnering with an existing team to change Cadillac’s badge, I can’t imagine F1 being against it. But it’s just a Sauber with a different name and color scheme (and a very worthwhile commercial deal for Alfa Romeo).
If General Motors wanted to launch a new team and operate under the Cadillac flag, this would certainly require stakeholder support as well.
It may depend on whether F1 sees this as a genuine General Motors entry or simply approves and ignores it. For what it’s worth, messages so far from General Motors and Cadillac indicate it’s not the latter.
Andretti and Cadillac have had their skeptics within F1, but those skeptics, both privately and publicly, have admitted that the collaboration is at least an interesting one to consider. It’s too big a name to shrug off. And Andretti, who had previously been the cold shoulder, made an effort to bring at least something different to the table.
Andretti believes it has a partner who can break down the barriers to entry, but General Motors is looking to enter F1 in a potentially efficient way to maximize the return on investment it never could have achieved alone. I found a way.
There are clear mutual benefits. And if broader concerns are allayed, F1 could also be a winner. Because the championship finally seems like the right time to take hold of the biggest and most elusive car company in a decidedly important market.
Looks like F1 needs to convince this TRUE General Motors is knocking on the door.