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US Congress raises issues over F1’s rejection of Andretti bid

A major growth has emerged within the ongoing saga surrounding Andretti World’s bid to enter System 1.

Twelve members of the US Congress have despatched a letter to Liberty Media, F1’s industrial rights holder, expressing robust issues in regards to the rejection of the American staff’s utility.

In January 2023, Andretti World, partnered with automotive large Basic Motors, submitted an official bid to affix the F1 grid as early because the 2024 season.

Whereas the FIA, F1’s regulatory physique, authorised their technical capabilities final October, their utility was finally rejected by System One Administration (FOM) earlier this yr.

FOM cited the shortage of worth for System 1 that an eleventh staff would carry to the game and its skepticism in the direction of Andretti’s capability to be “a aggressive participant”.

It additionally feared that accepting an extra staff would threat inserting a monetary burden on F1’s race promoters.

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F1 legend Mario Andretti, a vocal advocate for the American household’s bid, visited Capitol Hill this week and met with Congressman John James, one of many twelve bipartisan signatories to the letter.

The US Congress members, of their letter addressed to Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei, increase vital questions in regards to the true motives behind Andretti’s rejection, hinting at potential anti-competitive practices.

“We write to precise our issues with obvious anti-competitive actions that would forestall two American firms, Andretti World and Basic Motors (GM), from producing and competing in System 1.”

The letter additional emphasizes the potential violation of US antitrust legal guidelines, stating that the rejection “seems to be pushed by the present line-up of European System 1 race groups, a lot of that are affiliated with international vehicle producers that immediately compete with American automotive firms like GM. It’s unfair and fallacious to try to dam American firms from becoming a member of System 1, which might additionally violate American antitrust legal guidelines.”

The letter additionally underscores the precept of a meritocratic entry into System 1.

“Participation of all System 1 groups together with any American groups must be based mostly on advantage and never simply restricted to defending the present line-up of race groups.

“That is very true contemplating System 1’s rising presence in the US, together with three Grand Prix motoring [sic] racing occasions in Miami, Florida; Austin, Texas; and Las Vegas, Nevada.”


The 12 members of Congress have requested for Liberty’s responses to the next questions by Might third.

1. “Below what authority does FOM proceed to reject admission of Andretti World? What’s the rationale for FOM’s rejection, particularly with respect to Andretti World and its associate GM, doubtlessly being the primary American-owned and America-built race staff

2. “The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 outlaws unreasonable restraints on market competitors to supply the very best consequence for the American shopper. How does FOM’s denial of Andretti World and GM, American-owned firms, sq. with Sherman Act necessities, for the reason that determination will profit incumbent European racing groups and their international vehicle manufacturing associates?

3. “We perceive that GM intends to re-introduce its Cadillac model into the European market, which might help hundreds of good-paying American automotive jobs, particularly with System 1’s worldwide viewers and its halo impact on its groups and sponsors. How a lot did GM’s and Andretti’s entrance into racing competitors taking a portion of the racing market share and GM’s entry into the European market taking market share every play into the choice to disclaim admission to the Andretti World staff, given the general public outcry of incumbent System 1 groups towards a brand new American competitor?”

“We proceed to train oversight on this matter, and with the suitable Federal regulators, to make sure that any potential violations of U.S. anticompetition legislation are expeditiously investigated and pursued,” concludes the letter.

The intervention by US Congress members clearly signifies a major escalation within the Andretti-GM saga.

It calls for transparency from FOM relating to their decision-making course of and doubtlessly paves the best way for authorized motion if anti-competitive practices are confirmed.

The way forward for Andretti World’s F1 ambitions stays unsure, however the involvement of Congress injects a brand new layer of complexity and potential authorized ramifications into the scenario.

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