Michael Andretti

Ford offers support for Andretti-GM, but the bridge has been burnt

(GMM) Ford has offered an influential power-word of support for Andretti-Cadillac’s seemingly futile ongoing push for a place on the Formula 1 grid.

Liberty Media, and the bulk of the existing ten teams, appear determined to keep the door to a potential eleventh entry on the grid locked.

The US congress and senate even suspect that F1 might be engaged in “cartel-like” and “anti-competitive” behavior that may be forbidden under US law.

“I was surprised to see that Andretti have gone down this process,” Christian Horner, the Red Bull team boss, said when asked about the investigations now underway in the United States judiciary system.

Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner attends the Team Principals Press Conference during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 24, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

“If they really want to find a way onto the grid they will find it, and I think the most natural solution is for them to acquire an existing franchise should one want to sell.”

Given F1’s popularity surge over the past few years, Horner thinks even “the worst team in Formula 1 probably has a billion-dollar valuation” – making it very difficult for Andretti to afford the bill.

But such financial health means that adding an eleventh risks diluting the existing teams’ valuations and reducing their share of the F1 income.

However, Red Bull’s own F1 engine program for 2026 and beyond is in collaboration with Ford – the iconic American carmaker. And Ford’s global performance boss Mark Rushbrook now says the US multinational actually backs Andretti’s carmaker partner – General Motors-owned Cadillac – in their quest to join Formula 1.

“We go racing to compete against other manufacturers, and there’s already a lot of manufacturers in Formula 1, but we’d certainly love to welcome General Motors into the sport,” he told AP news agency en route to Monaco.

“We were able to come in as an American company – there weren’t any roadblocks,” Rushbrook added. “Gene Haas has been able to come in as a team with no roadblocks against him.

“So it is possible to find a way into the sport, it’s a matter of how you choose to enter the sport.”

GM president Mark Reuss welcomed the endorsement.

“Thank you Mark Rushbrook,” he said. “And we would welcome Ford to IndyCar for enhancing American open wheel racing as well.”

However, Ford’s Rushbrook does appear to agree with Horner that GM has other ways to enter F1 – like buying an existing team, or simply supplying an engine.

Michael Andretti
Bridge burnt, it’s over. The CEO of Liberty Media, Greg Maffei, has vowed to never let Michael Andretti into F1 after the Andretti Group got the US Congress involved. Maffei is rumored to be on a mission now to exclude Andretti, even if he tries to buy another team. (Photo by Chris Jones | IMS Photo)

“They have that ability to come in as a power unit manufacturer independent of any specific team – they could partner with any of the existing ten teams,” he said.

“So we welcome them, for sure. And same for Andretti. We certainly don’t have anything against Andretti.”

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