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Andretti will not be left without F1 engine supply, says FIA

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem says Andretti will not be left without an engine deal if it gains a Formula 1 entry, despite current uncertainty about its plans.

Micheal Andretti,retti Autosport

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Andretti has been given approval by the FIA to join the F1 grid from 2025 at the earliest, subject to it agreeing a commercial deal with FOM - which is far from guaranteed.

Andretti plans to bring the Cadillac name into F1 with it, but the timeframe makes it unlikely that it will have its own power unit ready for several years. It means the American squad would need a customer deal in place for any initial foray in F1.

This had originally been expected to be a supply of Renault engines, but it emerged last week that a pre-contract the team had with the French manufacturer had now lapsed, and talks had not resumed.

The situation means that, for now, Andretti does not have a firm engine contract in place.

Although F1’s current sporting regulations are designed to ensure that no team is left without a power unit supply, there is some debate about whether or not a new entry is afforded the same privilege as current competitors of being guaranteed engines.

Ben Sulayem says he is clear, however, that Andretti would qualify for a supply from 2025 or 2026 as he said the long-term aim was for General Motors/Cadillac to produce its own power unit.

“We are demanding that and we will see that,” Ben Sulayem told selected media, including Autosport, about the potential for an engine from GM. “But engines are not built in four or five years.

“At the beginning, Andretti will have to agree on one of two engines.”

Ben Sulayem believes that Appendix 6 of F1’s Sporting Regulations will apply to Andretti in giving it the option of requesting a supply from one of the manufacturers that is supplying the fewest customer teams.

Tom Garfinkel meets Michael Andretti in the paddock

Tom Garfinkel meets Michael Andretti in the paddock

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

This is expected to be Honda and Alpine for 2026, both of whom are currently only committed to supply one team.

While Audi will also only be delivering products for its own works team, clauses in the rules means new engine suppliers are initially exempt from having to supply customers.

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Ben Sulayem said there was no doubt in his mind that the rules were explicit in ensuring a supply for Andretti.

“It works that, with the rules, nobody can say no to them,” he said. “If all the teams say no, then the FIA has the power to go on and say, the least two [engine manufacturers] being used, then we put them in a draw, and we take one.

“It’s not a secret, and I'm sure it is either Alpine or Honda, and one of them would win because that is the rules.”

For Andretti to secure a customer supply from Alpine or Honda, it would need to put in a request before 1 June of the year prior to its entry.

But despite Ben Sulayem’s view, there are some within F1 who are not so convinced the regulations are framed in such a way to guarantee supply to new teams.

Alpine interim team boss Bruno Famin said the situation was complicated, but his company would fully comply with any ruling.

Mohammed bin Sulayem, President, FIA, Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airlines, on the podium

Mohammed bin Sulayem, President, FIA, Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airlines, on the podium

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Asked about potential uncertainty over the matter, he said: “We will not answer in that detail.

“There are a lot of regulations, there are the sporting regulations, and we have the Concorde Agreement. We're going to follow the rules, whether from the regulator or the promoter.”

Ben Sulayem believed the push to get GM to build its own engine longer term was great news for F1.

“I am optimistic with GM coming with the power unit,” he said. “I am very optimistic, not just optimistic.

“In the last 20 months to have two major OEMs, which is Audi and Andretti/GM, and to have a power unit from Audi, and we are on the right track of having a power unit from Cadillac, that is an achievement.”

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