US House Judiciary Committee Leader Looks into Why F1 Said No to Andretti

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US House Judiciary Committee chairman opens probe into F1’s Andretti rejection

Republican Congressman Jim Jordan has taken action following Mario Andretti’s recent appearance on Capitol Hill, demanding explanations from Formula 1’s owners regarding the decision-making process that led to Andretti’s hopes being dashed. Jordan penned a letter to Liberty CEO Greg Maffei and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, seeking documents and information to ensure that no illegal anti-competitive behavior occurred in denying Andretti a spot on the grid.

Jordan, who serves on the Committee on the Judiciary responsible for examining federal competition laws, emphasized the need to scrutinize F1’s actions regarding Andretti’s bid. He highlighted concerns that deviating from established rules and practices could reduce competition and harm consumer interest, potentially constituting anti-competitive conduct.

Jordan questioned the legitimacy of F1’s justifications for rejecting Andretti’s bid, finding them arbitrary and unrelated to Andretti Cadillac’s capability to compete in Formula 1.

US House Judiciary Committee Leader Looks into Why F1 Said No to Andretti
Michael Andretti, the Chairman and CEO of Andretti Global from the USA, is a former Formula 1 World competitor.

The Committee’s investigation focused on F1’s explanations, such as the requirement for new teams to compete for podiums and race wins and concerns over using an existing engine manufacturer. Jordan argued that these reasons lacked coherence and may conceal underlying financial motives, as suggested by FIA President Muhamed Ben Sulayem.

Moreover, the Committee raised suspicions about F1’s motives in protecting current teams from competition, which could harm consumers and undermine the integrity of the sport.

To facilitate the investigation, Jordan demanded relevant documents and a staff-level briefing from F1 regarding the evaluation process for new team entries and Andretti’s case. He requested communications between F1 and current teams, as well as any correspondence related to anti-dilution fees in the Concorde Agreement. Jordan set a deadline of May 21 for the briefing, underscoring the urgency of the matter.

In addition to Jordan’s efforts, other Congress members have also sought answers from F1 regarding the Andretti decision and its potential implications for market competition. Mario Andretti expressed disappointment with the outcome, emphasizing his pride in representing the US during his F1 career. Despite inquiries from various quarters, F1 declined to comment on the matter, leaving the investigation ongoing.

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