Car manufacturer ready to back out of F1 if plan for major change is rejected

General Motors will reportedly end its interest in joining the Formula 1 grid if its current proposed entry with Andretti Autosport is rejected.

GM, the largest carmaker in the US, aligned itself with Michael Andretti’s motorsport franchise in an attempt to earn a spot on the grid. Amid pushback from current shareholders in F1, adding a major automotive brand to the bid strengthened Andretti’s case.

But it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to earn a place in F1. The results of the FIA’s expressions of interest process are yet to be made public and, even if approved by the governing body, there is still likely to be significant resistance from most of the current teams.

If the Andretti bid ultimately fails, GM could turn to existing teams for a potential collaboration if it was hell-bent on getting involved in the sport. But that does not seem to be the case, as experienced paddock journalist Chris Medland reports that this will be GM’s one and only shot at a place on the grid.

“From what I’ve been told, GM has said it’s Andretti or nothing for it in F1, and if its bid is snubbed it won’t be coming back,” he wrote for RACER. “Maybe McLaren would try and open talks if Andretti is unsuccessful, but I don’t think it’ll get anywhere before we know the outcome of that bid.”

Compared to other potential bids for a place in F1, Andretti does have some support from existing competitors. McLaren’s chief executive Zak Brown is a friend and collaborator of Andretti’s, while Alpine are understood to be favourable given a deal is in place to supply power units to the potential new team.

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And the FIA seems to be on board with the joint GM-Andretti entry as well. Recently speaking to the Associated Press, president Mohammed ben Sulayem said: “People have to understand we are here to promote motorsport and we are here to be fair.

“The Expressions of Interest process is very robust and there is no circumstance where we can deny any teams if they fulfil the criteria to enter. So, imagine me saying no to someone like GM? We have in the regulations that we can go up to 12 teams.

“I’m not breaking [rules] 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? GM is a heavyweight and when they come with Andretti, that’s good for all of us.”

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