The fact that Cadillac wants to enter Formula 1 with Andretti Autosport was also a surprise to Ranger van der Zande, a factory driver for the American endurance racing automaker. However, Van der Zande believes European teams can wet their chests now that the American superpowers have set their sights on the royal class.
By Ringer van der Zande
Many Europeans probably don’t realize the size of General Motors, Cadillac’s parent company. it’s a leaked in America and one of the largest automakers worldwide. Inside GM you have brands like Chevrolet and Corvette, with Cadillac luxury brand Which combines luxury and sport. The desire of a major American automaker to enter Formula 1 with Andretti as an American team is huge moves – And Andretti is a great name for Cadillac that is in keeping with the history of Formula 1, as Mario and Michael Andretti raced there.
A lot of people ask me if I could get into a Cadillac, but by the time they’re on the grid, I’ll have turned forty…if only it had happened twenty years ago! However, it’s also fun for me, because I’m the longest serving Cadillac factory driver, I’ve been there since 2018. So there’s something that comes to me as an ambassador. The fact that GM is doing this with Cadillac shows that they think it fits the premium image of Formula 1. In America I sometimes have Cadillacs pretty thick under my ass with seven hundred eight hundred horsepower and all the bells and whistles. You can compare Cadillac’s V-Series to the top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG Black Series or BMW M sedans.
I’ve also been to the Cadillac plant in Detroit where they built our IMSA engines. This is in a huge complex with great facilities, typical American style no nonsenseExcept: They just want to build the best engine, and nothing else. American motorsport is sometimes looked down upon by Europe, but that is not justified. I think this is because they are in we Just getting busy with racing, showcasing and marketing, no fuss. In this sense it is no nonsense.
Andretti is best known in America from Indycar, where they are serious players, but NASCAR is the biggest motorsport out there. NASCAR’s biggest teams are as big or bigger than most Formula 1 teams in terms of budget and manufacturer. Same goes for Ganassi, Cadillac, or Penske. Don’t underestimate Andretti either. Yes, they have to adapt to Formula 1, but they have a few years to go. If you turn it over and ask “Where will they be in Formula 1?” I put them in front of Haas, AlphaTauri and Sauber.
So Formula 1 teams can prepare for tough competition from America. If Andretti and Cadillac were allowed to enter the sport. The reaction from Formula 1 isn’t entirely positive… However, teams have to look beyond the ‘little coins’ they lose when a new team arrives: the growth potential of Formula 1 in America is still huge. And with 330 million people, the block is money. An attractive American brand like Cadillac definitely belongs in Formula 1.
In addition to being an IMSA driver, Renger van der Zande is also a columnist for FORMULE 1 magazine. The winter edition of FORMULA 1 magazine, No. 02, is now available in stores or can be ordered below. With free shipping within the Netherlands!
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