F1: Will Cadillac badge the Honda engine for Andretti?

During today’s Andretti/Cadillac F1 announcement, GM president Mark Reuss said that an agreement has already been reached with a current F1 engine manufacturer to use its power unit initially.

“We have a signed agreement with a power unit supplier to begin with,” said Reuss.

Reuss was clear the partnership “goes beyond the Cadillac livery” and that Andretti would have full access to all of GM’s racing facilities.

“GM’s vast engineering resource will bring proven success and valuable contributions to this partnership,” said Reuss. “This includes all the talent and capabilities of GM Racing staff and facilities in Michigan, at the Warren Tech Center, and in North Carolina, as well as the expertise of our engineers and designers like combustion, battery technology, turbocharging, vehicle integration – the list goes on and on.”

That of course has started the rumor mill churning – whose engine will they badge? Choices:

Renault – Andretti global previously announced a deal with Renault. Has that been abandoned?  Would Renault allow their engine to be badged a Cadillac?

Honda – While neither Reuss nor Andretti offered any details of which manufacturer it was planning to work with, it could be Honda. The Japanese manufacturer officially withdrew from F1 at the end of last year, but recently revealed that it had registered with the FIA to be able to produce a power unit for the 2026 regulations. Reuss said: “On the EV part of it, obviously we do have a large partnership with Honda. We also compete against Honda in series like IndyCar as well. So we have that natural respect and relationship, which is not problematic at all. We’ll talk about the engine piece of this at a later date.”

Ilmor – Ilmor does the Chevy IndyCar engine and have done F1 engines in the past. They could be the Cadillac partner and they are an American company – owned by Roger Penske. But we believe Reuss said a ‘current’ F1 engine manufacturer and that would then rule out Ilmor.

It will be interesting to see who the engine partner ends up being. We said along Andretti would be wise to team with Honda, so if they end up being the one, expect the Andretti cars to not be lacking HP and to be reliable.

“One of the big things/questions was ‘what does Andretti bring to the party?’,” Michael Andretti said Thursday.

“Well, we’re bringing one of the biggest manufacturers in the world now with General Motors and Cadillac.

“We feel that that was the one box we didn’t have checked that we do have checked now.

“We’ve put in a tremendous amount of support to Formula 1 and it’s hard for anyone to argue that now.”

Mark C. reporting for AutoRacing1.com