Rumor: Andretti may be forced to switch from Cadillac to Ford to win AlphaTauri bid
By Mark Cipolloni
Michael Andretti has so far been silent on whether Andretti Global will pursue acquisition of the AlphaTauri F1 Team if it comes up for sale, and the rumors are all pointing to the fact that Red Bull will indeed spin it off.
As I wrote in this article, If Andretti were to pay the soon-to-be revised $600 million anti-dilution fee to enter as the 11th F1 team, they would have nothing to show for it – no F1 factory, no existing F1 team, no F1 design personnel, etc. It would still have to invest in all of that, easily pushing the price tag over $1 billion for a team starting from zero at the back of the grid.
The existing team owners feel the $600 million is enough to deter anyone from entering F1 as a new team.
Hence, why it makes so much more sense for Andretti to try and acquire the AlphaTauri team, if the rumors are true it may be up for sale. While it currently is not a front-running team, it has two F1 wins to its credit and it would be an excellent starting point for Andretti and Cadillac. And they save the $600 million blackmail fee (yes, that is essentially what it is) – so the existing teams get none of Andretti’s money.
Speedcafe reports that should Andretti have its F1 plans scuppered by the anti-dilution fee hike, GM would instead seek to partner with a current team.
Good luck with that. It leaves Cadillac between a rock and a hard place with few options.
How Andretti can win the AlphaTauri Bid
Red Bull will decide which of the bidders for AlphaTauri will be awarded the team. Red Bull were planning to sell its new in-house developed Ford engines in 2026 to the AlphaTauri team, which in turn would help to defray some of its development costs.
If Andretti wants to win the bid, besides offering a big enough check to buy the team, his bid likely needs to stipulate that his team will use Red Bull/Ford engines for at least five years.
If Porsche or Honda were to make a run at AlphaTauri they would likely want to run their own engines, and that might not be viewed as favorably by the Red Bull Board members (they must approve the winning bid) who would see a guaranteed 5-year revenue stream if Andretti were to make the offer to buy their engines.
Andretti would be leaving Cadillac on the outside looking in, but GM would be losing nothing because it has not really spent any money on F1 yet.
Andretti’s #1 goal is getting a team on the F1 grid; however he has to do it. And if that means hooking up with Red Bull and Ford for their engines, then so be it.
If Andretti’s F1 team is based in Europe (Faenza, Italy) which makes far more sense than in the USA, with a small facility in the USA, it would have access to a far more experienced F1 design/engineer talent pool, his factory would be close to Dallara should he want to engage Dallara’s Aldo Costa to help design their new car, and they could rent out wind tunnel time from Dallara just down the road in Parma Italy.
Last but not least, they could poach some of Ferrari’s best talent, located not far away in Maranello.
This could get interesting……
I could be wrong, but that is how I see it. We shall see how it all plays out.