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Andretti Formula Racing

Powerful US Congressman launches F1 investigation over Andretti block

Representative Jim Jordan is one of the most powerful members of the United States House of Representatives.

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The chairman of the United States House of Representatives judiciary committee has opened an investigation into Formula 1 and Liberty Media over how the decision to block Andretti's entry bid was reached.

Rep. Jim Jordan addressed a letter to Liberty chief Greg Maffei and F1 CEO and president Stefano Domenicali on Tuesday, reported NBC News.

Rep. Jordan is demanding documents concerning the "process for evaluating the entry of new teams" related to Andretti and even those between F1, Liberty Media and the 10 current teams on the subject.

Rep. Jordan has given a deadline of 5pm on May 21st for a response.

The move from the powerful Republican comes a week after 12 bipartisan members of Congress wrote to F1 and Liberty seeking answers over Andretti's bid being rejected after commercial negotiations with F1 in January.

The bid has previously passed all FIA technical and sporting tests, but was rejected, for 2026 at least, after F1 felt Andretti had underestimated the level of difficulty in joining the grid and also that it would not add sufficient value.

In a statement to NBC News, Andretti welcomed Rep. Jordan's investigation.

“We’re glad that the House Judiciary Committee has decided to investigate the practices of Liberty Media and FOM, as called for last week by a bipartisan group of lawmakers," it said.

"Our focus remains on building a world-class Formula 1 team, and our work continues at pace.”

NOTE: Rep. Jordan's full letter is available to read below, and the articles continues afterwards.

One reason why some of the existing 10 teams were lukewarm towards Andretti's proposed entry, was the fact that they would potentially receive a smaller slice of the overall prize pot, despite Andretti's claims it would actually expand the pot for all.

At the Miami Grand Prix, days after meeting with Rep. Jordan among others, Mario Andretti confirmed that the team was still planning to be on the 2026 grid.

The team has also recently opened a brand-new technical base at Silverstone.

F1 did not completely close the door on Andretti's entry bid, with engine General Motors a potential lifeline. Should GM and the Cadillac brand be able to produce a power unit for 2028, F1 indicated that it would reconsider the merits of the bid.

Liberty Media is set to reveal its first quarter financial results on Wednesday 8th May, including for the Formula 1 Group.

Liberty is also facing questions from the US Department of Justice through its LibertyLive and LiveNation ticket purchasing service.

The DOJ is investigating whether "the nation’s biggest concert promoter has leveraged its dominance in a way that undermined competition for ticketing live events," according to the Wall Street Journal.

Back in 2019, the DOJ had found that Live Nation was violating terms of its 2010 merger with Ticketmaster by forcing venues to accept Ticketmaster's ticketing services as a pre-requisite for Live Nation performances.

In November 2022, during the US legs of Taylor Swift's worldwide Eras tour, fans were left unable to purchase tickets owing to scalpers doing so and re-selling at far higher rates. Both Ticketmaster and Live Nation were hit with multiple lawsuits.

The timing of Rep. Jordan's intervention should also not be ignored, with GM based in Detroit, Michigan.

Michigan is a key swing state in US presidential elections, and has voted with the overall winner in nine of the last 11 contests since 1980, with only George W Bush failing to carry the state in either 2000 or 2004.

Rep. Jordan is a close supporter of Donald Trump, who is hoping to be re-elected as the 47th president in November, and defeat incumbent Joe Biden in the rematch of the 2020 contest.

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