GM is aiming to race in Formula 1, with Cadillac partnering with Michael Andretti’s Andretti Global to potentially enter as the eleventh team in the top-tier racing series. The proposal has been met with resistance from the current F1 team lineup, but according to the president of the FIA, there’s no reason to deny GM a spot on the grid.
According to a recent report from Associated Press, the president of the governing body behind F1, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, said that GM’s Expression of Interest to enter the series stood out amongst the “more than five” received thus far.
“People have to understand we are here to promote motorsport and we are here to be fair,” Ben Sulayem said. “The Expressions of Interest process is very robust and there is no circumstance where we can deny any teams if they fulfill the criteria to enter. So imagine me saying no to someone like GM?”
The current F1 racing series rules stipulate that there can be upwards of 12 teams on the grid, leaving room for expansion among the 10 that currently compete.
“I’m not breaking (rules),” Ben Sulayem said. “But do we allow anyone to enter? No. But how on earth can we refuse GM?”
“I mean, where’s the common sense in this?” Ben Sulayem added. “GM is a heavyweight and when they come with Andretti, that’s good for all of us.”
Two weeks ago, the CEO of Liberty Media, the company that holds the commercial rights to the F1 race series, reportedly said that a grid expansion could be beneficial, especially if it included an American manufacturer.
However, following the announcement that Andretti Global and Cadillac were aiming for a spot in F1, several of the current F1 teams reportedly came out against the proposal, saying that the move would dilute the share of revenues and that the $200 million entry fee was insufficient compensation. Some even characterized GM’s involvement as little more than a “badging exercise.”
Andretti responded to the pushback, saying the negative reaction was “greedy” and that teams were prioritizing self-interest over the growth and wellbeing of F1 as a racing series.
The decision on whether or not F1 will expand with a new team is expected by the end of the month.