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Andretti Formula Racing

US Congress tells F1 it should be 'begging' for Andretti F1 entry

Two members of the United States House of Representatives have spoken out in support of Andretti and General Motors combined F1 application.

A member of the United States House of Representatives has told Formula 1 it should "be begging" for more American participation.

Victoria Spartz, who represents Indiana's fifth district in the House, was speaking at an event with Michigan's John James and 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti on the steps of Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

Andretti was in Washington, D.C for talks with bipartisan members of Congress about Andretti's block by Formula 1 on entering the championship, which was announced in January.

The door remains open for 2028 if engine partner General Motors can supply a power unit.

A bipartisan committee of Congress has also written to Liberty Media, which is listed in the United States, demanding answers to a series of questions by Friday.

"I think it is of interest of the rest of the world, and Europeans actually, having an American team participating" Republican Spartz said.

"I think we have so much ingenuity, we have so much innovation, and they want our innovation for everything else, including weapons, so I think they need to make sure that they see our ingenuity in cars.

"I think that would be in their interest. They should be actually begging and asking us to participate, not to try to make it even more difficult, because we do have a lot of innovation ingenuity."

RacingNews365 has reached out to the White House with a request for comment from President Biden.

'An old boys' club'

Spartz, a first-term Congresswoman added that F1 was a "good old boys' club" afraid of more competition - after the 10 existing teams vehemently opposed Andretti's entry.

"I appreciate Mr Andretti is actually willing to [bring a US team to F1]," she said.

"It's a lot of work and a lot of money, so I think for him to do that, we’re doing them a favour and it’s unfortunate that it’s a good old boys club of Europeans and all of them don't want more competition, but competition makes all of stronger.

"It's very disappointing for me and honestly just offensive that we actually have some of these people not wanting to work with American companies."

'Cartel-like behaviour'

Representative James of Michigan hinted at F1 being compared to a cartel, telling reporters that he would "let you figure out if this is cartel-type behaviour."

"I'll let you figure out if this anti-competition, monopolistic-type behaviour, but from where I'm standing, when you have a company, Liberty Media, who also owns almost 30% of Live Nation [an American events promoter], and literally this week is under investigation by the Department of Justice for anti-competition and monopolistic-type behaviours – and when we get reports of people who will look you right in the face and say, ‘look, we're too big to be held accountable.'

"Well, that doesn't work over here. That doesn't work with a big guy who gets to put his thumb down a little guy.

"This venture is bringing the first-ever American-made engine to Formula 1, a GM-built engine specifically, an American team from right in the heart of my district.

"This is a big opportunity for Formula 1. But if they want access to American markets, if they want free markets, and they have to play fair.

"American autos should have the opportunity to compete against any other autos across the world. And that's why we're here - fairness and free trade."

Red Bull's demo run

Red Bull recently held a showrun in Washington, D.C on Pennsylvania Avenue - at the end of which is the White House.

"F1 just held a race literally on Pennsylvania Avenue last weekend," said James, with three grands prix planned in America this season, in Miami, Austin and Las Vegas.

"They wanted America's attention. Oh, you have it," the first-term Republican Congressman said.

"We're here to say that America demands its due if you want access to our markets.

"If you want access to our fans, that you must grant access to our companies, you must grant access to our automotive workers. You must grant access to Americans themselves.

"Liberty Media is kicking the can down the road to get a more juicy deal for themselves at the expense of having this icon racing on America's 200 and 50th anniversary."

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