US Congress sends open letter to Liberty Media over Andretti F1 rejection

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In an accusation of anti-American rhetoric from Liberty media, 12 members of the United States Congress, both from the Democratic and Republican Parties, sent an open letter to the CEO of Liberty Media, Gregory Maffei, asking for answers on why the collaboration project of American-based Andretti and General Motors through their Cadillac brand for engines.

Earlier this year, the FIA approved the admission into the Andretti/GM project into F1, pending confirmation from Formula One Management (FOM), subsequently, FOM denied the team permission into Formula One, citing that the team would not have enough time to be competitive and that the admission of the team into Formula One would not add anything of value to the Championship.

The admission of these reasons infuriated members of Congress. In their letter, they claimed that the true reasons behind the rejection of their bid was due to anti-American sentiment inside the existing F1 paddock, and that their rejection of the bid may violate American law.

The letter states: “FOM’s rejection appears to be driven by the current line-up of European Formula 1 race teams, many of which are affiliated with foreign automobile manufacturers that directly compete with American automotive companies like GM. It is unfair and wrong to attempt to block American companies from joining Formula 1, which could also violate American anti-trust laws.”

The letter also went against FOM’s reasoning of the team adding nothing of value, since the Championship now has three American races: Miami, Austin, and Las Vegas.

Congress also asked these three major questions, which they expect responses for by May 3rd, two days after the letter was dated.

First, they delve into the fact that the current Concorde Agreement allows room for 12 teams to participate in F1, and the FIA even approved Andretti’s entry into F1. Therefore, the letter asks: “Under what authority does FOM proceed to reject admission of Andretti Global?”

Then, they accuse FOM once again of violating anti-trust laws: “How does FOM’s denial of Andretti Global and GM, American-owned companies, square with (American anti-trust laws), since the decision will benefit incumbent racing teams…?”

Finally, they said that the rejection of Andretti’s bid has to do with GM’s intention to bring the Cadillac brand back to Europe and compete with the car brands that are currently on the grid: “How much did GM’s and Andretti’s entrance into racing competition… and GM’s entry into the European market… play into the decision to deny to the Andretti Global team…?”

In a tweet, Andretti Global was grateful for Congress’ message:

“We are grateful to the bipartisan members of Congress for their support in challenging this anti-competitive behavior. We remain committed to bringing the first US works team and power unit to F1 and to giving American fans a home team to root for. It is our hope that this can be resolved swiftly so that Andretti Cadillac can take its rightfully approved place on the grid in 2026. Our work continues at pace.”