Andretti makes further commitment to F1 by launching UK facility

Andretti makes further commitment to F1 by launching UK facility

Michael Andretti along with his partners at General Motors and Group1001, are moving forward with their Formula 1 plans despite constant rejection from the sport.

Andretti Global has achieved yet another major milestone in its quest to join Formula 1 with the official launch of its new 48,000 square foot facility at Silverstone Park on Wednesday.

The FIA granted Andretti Global approval to compete in the world’s premier motorsports by 2025 or 2026, but Formula One Management, the company that owns the commercial rights to Formula One, rejected the team’s application, raising concerns about its capacity to bring value financially and competitively to the championship.

In response, the team denied that it had brushed aside the Formula One Management group’s communication attempts while expressing that it “strongly disagreed” with the unfortunate dismissal.

All the same, Andretti Global continues to pursue its objective of having its car on the grid by 2026. The plan is to initially use a Renault engine until the sport switches to its next-generation framework in 2028, by which point General Motors is expected to have its F1 project operational.

Former Lotus and Renault Formula 1 technical director Nick Chester is leading the ongoing project at the General Motors racing facility in North Carolina.

It launched a 48,000-square-foot facility on Thursday, located in the Silverstone Park business complex, which is next to the venue of the annual British Grand Prix. Eighty workers are currently employed there, and in 2026, a car that could possibly race was revealed to the public by Michael and Mario Andretti, Dan Towriss of Group1001, and J-F Thormann, the team president.

“We have said that our work continues at pace; this new facility embodies that work,” Michael Andretti said. “While we plan to have an all-American team, with the car assembled in the U.S., having a European base is a great way to attract the best in F1 talent and install state of the art machinery.

“I want to see integration between all the bases, between the U.S. and Silverstone, as we move forward — but that is already happening today, with some really great collaboration on all fronts.

“There is literally hundreds of years of experience in this Silverstone building. Every person here knows what they are doing and is capable of building a very competitive race car. We’re excited by this very unique opportunity as we move forward.”

While the design and race operations will be based in Silverstone, The new vehicle manufacturing plant located in Fishers, Indiana, close to Indianapolis will handle car manufacturing.

“F1 is obviously the pinnacle of auto racing in the world,” Michael Andretti said. “We’re in all different types of racing series, but to be in F1 is at the top. And so that’s why I think for our brand, it’d be huge.

“And it’ll just complete our goal, and that is to be in every single major sporting racing event in the world. And then obviously, getting to F1 is the top of that. So it’s a big goal, it’s been a goal of ours for a few years now.

“And we are right there, we’re going to be there. And we feel very strongly that we’re going to be there. And we’re building a fantastic team as well, this is something that’s going to be unique to F1, to build a real F1 team from scratch with great brains.

“This is something that I think could catch a lot of people off-guard when we do finally get on the grid.”

Additionally, Andretti told Sky Sports in the United Kingdom that he is still working closely together with the FIA to get the support of the teams that currently split revenue from sports.

“General Motors is huge coming to the party,” Andretti said. “They are not just coming to be here, they are coming here to be a big part of our team, and I think it’s not been understood yet how big that is.

“I think once everybody understands what we are really putting together it’ll be a point where they can’t say no.”

The facility also plans to make a presence in F2 and F3 to further demonstrate its full dedication to the sport.

“This is going to be mainly for F1, these two facilities,” Michael Andretti added. “But we also want to bring in our Formula E team and start integrating it here.

“Our goal is to have an F3/F2 team to help support the F1 team, and then maybe even a WEC [World Endurance Championship] team. So we want to make this our hub for the European racing.”

Andretti firmly believes that he needs to be on the grid for 2026 and 2027 before the new engine regulations take effect in order to establish a solid foundation and be prepared to compete by 2028.

“They [General Motors] are currently building an engine,” Andretti said. “They are already registered to do it.

“So we will have an engine in ’28, but obviously we need to build to get there. To just, all of a sudden, show up in ’28 with a new engine and no team, we need two years to build there to get there that when we do get our own engine the team’s ready to go and be competitive.”

Dan Towriss, an investor in Andretti Global, was present at Silverstone to witness the unveiling of the team’s new UK headquarters.

Establishing the new team base in the UK is crucial, according to the American businessman whose Group1001 insurance company backs Andretti in IndyCar through its Gainbridge subsidiary.

“I’d say an important step is today, it’s opening our facility in Silverstone,” he said. “It’s also continuing to acquire the talent necessary, to have the people, the financial resources, the technical resources able to have a competitive team. And so we’re assembling the resources.

“Michael and I and Mario have a few things to do behind the scenes, but we’re going to take care of business there. And so while that’s happening, we’re continuing to build the team.”

Towriss also touched on Andretti’s collaboration with General Motors and Cadillac.

“The collaboration with General Motors is fantastic, hearing how everybody’s working together, across time zones,” he said. “Technology allows things to happen in real time, it’s so exciting. And so just to continue to capitalise on that opportunity.

“We just want to keep building. This is an important step today, and we’ll continue to build. We’ve got a facility in Fishers that’s being built as well, just to make sure that we have a world-class facility for world-class people to build a world-class team.”

Although it turns out the intentions go deeper than that, Andretti’s F1 ambitions have always been to genuinely fly the flag of the United States, which is an important market for Formula 1 growth. This is the reason why he decided to bring in an American driver to the team.

“It’s not just American drivers, but it’ll be a good ladder for American drivers,” Andretti said. “We’re going to still be looking for the best talent in the world. But it’s going to give an American driver a fair chance, because normally when an American comes over here, they’re not treated the same.

“Here in our team, you’re going to be treated fairly, all the way up through the system and plus for us, we’ll then be able to really tell the talent, how real it is or not.

“Because a lot of times you don’t know, some father might be paying for 200 days of testing and things like that to make their kid look good! So here we’ll know what we have.”

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