June 19, 2024
Motorsports

Ford is open to GM’s competition in Formula 1

As Ford gears up for its 2026 debut in Formula 1, the engine supplier has one specific competitor it aims to challenge on the global motorsports stage: General Motors.

Both Detroit-based rivals already face off in various other series, such as NASCAR, but Ford is now eyeing a chance to compete against GM in the future to showcase their technology.

GM, operating under its Cadillac brand, is involved in the Andretti Cadillac project, which was turned down by Formula One Management when they sought to expand the current F1 grid from 10 teams to 11. The FIA approved Michael Andretti’s bid, but FOM rejected it.

As Mark Rushbrook, the global director for Ford Performance, heads to Monaco for the upcoming F1 race, he has called on the series to reconsider and give Andretti and Cadillac an opportunity.

“We participate in racing to compete against other manufacturers, and while there are already many manufacturers in Formula 1, we would be thrilled to see General Motors join the sport,” Rushbrook stated in an interview with The Associated Press before departing for the Monaco Grand Prix.

“GM has the capability to enter as a power unit manufacturer independently of any specific team; they could potentially partner with any of the existing 10 teams,” Rushbrook added. “So we welcome them with open arms. The same goes for Andretti. We have no objections to them either.”

Rushbrook’s endorsement was well-received by General Motors President Mark Reuss.

“Thank you Mark Rushbrook — and we would welcome Ford to IndyCar to enrich American open wheel racing as well,” Reuss shared on social media.

Currently, Ford is not involved in IndyCar, while Chevrolet holds the top eight positions in the starting lineup for the Indianapolis 500.

Formula One Management appears to have softened its stance towards Andretti with recent meetings and a commitment to reconsider the application in 2028 when General Motors is ready to compete with an engine.

Andretti had aimed to join the grid in 2025 with GM’s support and has been working on race cars from a new facility recently established in England. Earlier this week, Andretti made a significant hire by bringing F1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds on board.

Rushbrook praised how smoothly both the FIA and FOM handled the announcement of Ford’s entry into F1 with Red Bull in 2023, stating that both entities have been supportive ahead of Ford’s debut.

“We, as an American company, were able to enter without any obstacles,” Rusbrook remarked. “Gene Haas also entered as a team without facing hurdles. So, finding a way into the sport is feasible; it’s all about the approach you take to enter.”

On the other hand, Andretti has faced criticism for his efforts to expand the grid and potentially reduce revenue for existing teams. When his application was rejected, FOM questioned Andretti’s ability to field a competitive team and downplayed the value of the Andretti name.

NBC reported that Mario Andretti, the 1978 F1 champion and a legendary driver, clashed with the CEO of Liberty Media, Formula 1’s owner, during a private reception earlier this month at the Miami Grand Prix weekend.

NBC News stated that Andretti claimed the CEO expressed opposition to Michael Andretti entering Formula 1 and then walked away without further communication.

Mario Andretti and F1 were not available for immediate comment on the NBC report.

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AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing

FAQ

1. Will General Motors be joining Formula 1 in the future?

General Motors has expressed interest in entering Formula 1 as a power unit manufacturer, but their application to expand the grid was rejected. However, there are discussions to reconsider their entry in 2028.

2. What are Ford’s plans for its Formula 1 debut in 2026?

Ford is preparing to make its debut in Formula 1 in 2026 as an engine supplier and aims to compete against other manufacturers, including potential new entrants like General Motors.

Conclusion

The rivalry between Ford and General Motors is poised to extend into the world of Formula 1, with both companies eager to showcase their technology on the global motorsports stage. While there have been challenges and rejections along the way, the future looks promising for new entrants like General Motors and established players like Ford in the competitive world of Formula 1.

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