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Ford would welcome General Motors joining Formula 1 grid for competition purposes

Mark Rushbrook Ford Mark Rushbrook - Getty Images

As Ford prepares for its 2026 debut in Formula 1, the engine supplier has one particular rival manufacturer it wants to compete against on motorsports' global stage: General Motors.

The Detroit-based adversaries compete weekly in various other series, namely NASCAR, but Ford now wants an opportunity to go head-to-head with its technology against GM in the future.

GM, under its Cadillac brand, is part of the Andretti Cadillac effort that has been denied by Formula One Management in its request to expand the current F1 grid from 10 teams to 11. Michael Andretti's bid was approved by the FIA, which oversees F1, but then FOM sternly rejected the application.

Now as Mark Rushbrook, the global director for Ford Performance, heads to Monaco for this weekend's F1 race, he called on the series to give Andretti and Cadillac a chance.

“We go racing to compete against other manufacturers, and there's already a lot of manufacturers in Formula 1, but we'd certainly love to welcome General Motors into the sport,” Rushbrook said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press before boarding a plane to the Monaco Grand Prix.

“They have that ability to come in as a power unit manufacturer independent of any specific team, they could partner with any of the existing 10 teams,” Rushbrook continued. “So we welcome them, for sure. And same for Andretti. We certainly don't have anything against Andretti.”

Rusbrook's endorsement was immediately embraced by General Motors President Mark Reuss.

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

Ford does not presently compete in IndyCar, while Chevrolet has the top eight spots in Sunday's starting lineup for the Indianapolis 500.

Formula One Management seemed to have softened its stance against Andretti with at least two recent meetings, and a vow to reconsider the application in 2028 when General Motors has an engine ready to compete.

Andretti wanted to be on the grid in 2025 with support from GM and has continued working on race cars from a new shop recently opened in England. Earlier this week, Andretti made a key hire in pulling F1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds away from the series.

Rushbrook was complimentary of how seamless both the FIA and FOM made its 2023 announcement to join F1 with Red Bull, even saying both sides have been welcoming in anticipation of Ford's arrival.

“We were able to come in as an American company, there weren't any roadblocks,” Rusbrook said. “Gene Haas has been able to come in as a team with no roadblocks against him. So it is possible to find a way into the sport, it's a matter of how you choose to enter the sport.”

It's been a decidedly different experience for Andretti, who has been been criticized for trying to expand the grid and dilute revenue for the existing teams. And, when his application was denied, FOM in its letter questioned Andretti's ability to even field a competitive team and said the family name is not as valuable as the Andrettis think it is.

NBC on Wednesday night reported that Michael Andretti's father, Mario, clashed with the CEO of Formula 1’s owner, Liberty Media, at a private reception earlier this month during the Miami Grand Prix weekend.

Mario Andretti is the 1978 F1 champion and considered one of the greatest drivers in history.

NBC News said Andretti told them at an invitation-only breakfast that Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali asked Andretti about his recent visit to Washington, D.C., and Andretti told him he had been invited by lawmakers to speak outside the Capitol as they called on the sport to accept Andretti’s application to become F1’s 11th team.

“I was asked to go there. And just as I was trying to explain that to Stefano, Greg Maffei, Mr. Maffei, broke in the conversation and he said: ‘Mario, I want to tell you that I will do everything in my power to see that Michael never enters Formula 1,’” Andretti said.

NBC News said Andretti claimed Maffei then walked away and hasn't contacted him since.

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


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