U.S. Congress asks F1 for formal explanation after rejecting Michael Andretti's bid to own a team

F1 rejected Michael Andretti's bid to own a team until at least the 2028 season earlier this year.

F1 rejected Michael Andretti’s bid to own a team until at least the 2028 season earlier this year. (Alessio Morgese/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A dozen U.S. Congress members wrote a letter to Formula 1 on Wednesday formally requesting an explanation over its decision to reject Michael Andretti’s bid to own a team until at least the 2028 season.

Andretti had already been approved to own a F1 team by the FIA, Formula 1’s governing body. But F1 and the 10 teams denied the application to own a team earlier this year. In the letter, members of Congress raised “concerns with apparent anti-competitive actions that would prevent two American companies, Andretti Global and General Motors, from producing and competing in Formula 1.”

F1 denied Andretti’s application for a team for the 2025 or 2026 season earlier this year. He had been pushing to start a team by the 2026 campaign, and he secured an engine deal with General Motors to use Cadillac-based engines in 2028. F1 cited that two-year gap when denying his bid, in part, as it is implementing new rule changes for its cars ahead of the 2026 season.

“We do not believe that there is a basis for any new applicant to be admitted in 2025 given that this would involve a novice entrant building two completely different cars in its first two years of existence,” F1 said in a statement in January rebuking Andretti’s bid. “The fact that the Applicant proposes to do so gives us reason to question their understanding of the scope of the challenge involved.

“Formula 1, as the pinnacle of world motorsport, represents a unique technical challenge to constructors of a nature that the Applicant has not faced in any other formula or discipline in which it has previously competed. On this basis, we do not believe that the Applicant would be a competitive participant.”

F1 has said it will be willing to consider Andretti’s team again in 2028, when the GM engine is ready for racing.

In the letter, members of Congress accused “the current line-up of European Formula 1 race teams” of blocking Andretti’s bid in order to protect their share of the sport.

“It is unfair and wrong to attempt to block American companies from joining Formula 1, which could also violate American antitrust laws,” the letter read. “Participation of all Formula 1 teams — including any American teams — should be based on merit and not just limited to protecting the current line-up of race teams.”

The members requested a formal response to its three questions by Friday.

The Miami Grand Prix, which is the first of three F1 events held in the United States each season, is set for Sunday.

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