US House judiciary chairman probes F1’s Andretti rejection

The chairman of the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has launched an investigation into Formula One’s rejection of Andretti Cadillac’s bid to become the sport’s 11th team, NBC News reported on Tuesday.

NBC published a letter from Republican Jim Jordan to F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali and Liberty Media president and CEO Greg Maffei in which possible ‘anticompetitive conduct’ was mentioned.

Liberty Media-owned Formula One ruled out the bid in January, doubting it would be competitive or add value, but kept a door open for 2028 when partner General Motors could provide an engine.

Andretti Global is led by 1991 CART champion Michael Andretti, son of 1978 F1 world champion and 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti.

The FIA governing body approved the application in October 2023 and sent it on for assessment to Formula One Management, whose rejection left the regulator at odds with the commercial rights holder.

Jordan’s letter said “excuses put forward for denying Andretti Cadillac’s entry appear to be pretextual, arbitrary and unrelated to Andretti Cadillac’s suitability to compete in Formula One.”

“Delaying Andretti Cadillac’s entry into Formula One for even one year will harm American consumers to benefit failing Formula One teams,” Jordan wrote in his letter.

“Limiting the number of teams in Formula One will increase the price of sponsoring or buying into an existing Formula One team.

“As the Committee examines this matter and considers potential legislation around the structure and competition of sports leagues, we write to request a staff-level briefing on the decision to deny Andretti Cadillac’s application to join Formula One.”

Jordan called for the briefing to be held as soon as possible and no later than May 21, when Formula One will be preparing to race around the glamorous harbourside streets of Monaco. There was no immediate reply from Formula One to a Reuters request for comment.

Mario Andretti, 84, told Sky Sports television at the Miami Grand Prix last Sunday that the preparations to enter Formula One were continuing at pace.

“We’re working every day on it. We’re ready to meet whatever challenge there is, just tell us what and we’re in,” he said. We‘re preparing in every possible way and our intention is to be on the grid in 2026.”

Andretti Global opened a new facility at Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix, in April to house the design department and race team.

Source: eNCA

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