Starting with the 2023 season, Formula 1 will have three events in the U.S., in the form of the race in Austin, the Miami Grand Prix, and the Las Vegas event. The Miami event was introduced in 2022, and the Las Vegas race was announced in late 2022, and it looks like it was enough for GM's leaders to green-light the deal with Andretti. The latter already had applied to enter F1 since 2024.
Now, do not expect to see Cadillac on the grid in the 2023 season, as Formula One has a cap on how many teams are allowed in the sport, as well as who can race as a driver, and so on. There are many rules today, so it is not like back in the 1970s or 1980s, when various teams could be set up in just a matter of months and then begin racing.
Instead, the Andretti Cadillac team must first submit an Expression of Interest with the FIA when the latter opens the formal process. Once the process is complete, the FIA will decide if any of the teams that applied are selected, and then they move forward with the process.
The next step would involve entering the competition as soon as it was practical, and the team's goal is to have "at least one American driver."
The part with an American driver is also tricky, as a Formula 1 racer needs to have a Super License to be eligible to compete in Formula 1. Getting one of those does not involve going through a "Super Driving School," or a "Super Driving Test," fortunately, but it does mean gathering enough points in a season of FIA-sanctioned competitions to be eligible to ask for such a license.
When the Andretti team was reportedly interested in joining Formula 1, Colton Herta was one of the names of the drivers who might have been proposed to enter the sport. Sadly, Colton did not have enough points in 2022 to be eligible to get an F1 Super License in 2023.
Michael Andretti has noted that it is far too early to announce when they reach the grid, but they are "going to be on-track when it all makes sense to be on-track."
In other words, it is not clear when the new team will get a chance to race, if it does, and it might not race as soon as possible if it gets the approval overnight, because they might not be ready to compete at once.
It may lead to a debut in 2026, when the Formula One engine regulations change, but other interested parties may decide to enter the sport then, so things may get heated at the negotiation table.
What is important today is that there is a decision of a vehicle manufacturer, Cadillac, to enter Formula 1 with team Andretti, and this is all that matters now.
General Motors and Andretti have previously teamed up with Chevrolet in the NTT IndyCar Series back in 2012, and that led to nine wins across two seasons. The bigger deal was that they got the Driver, Team, and Manufacturer titles of that series back in 2012, which was the debut season for the new team, so Mr. Andretti knows what he is doing when open-wheel racing is concerned.
We can think of someone else involved in Formula One who knows what he's doing, but he retired at the end of the 2021 season.