Andretti: Liberty boss Maffei promised to block F1 entry

Adam Cooper
23 May, 2024

Mario Andretti claims that Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei told him he will do “everything in my power” to stop the prospective Andretti Cadillac Formula 1 entry. The former World Champion says that the conversation occurred at a breakfast event at the recent Miami GP.

Tensions between the Andretti camp and Liberty/F1 have been ramped up of late after Andretti visited Washington and met lawmakers.

Subsequently, the US Congress’s Committee on the Judiciary wrote to Maffei and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali regarding Andretti Cadillac’s entry bid, highlighting potential competition law infringements.

In an interview with NBC, Andretti said that at the Miami event, he was talking to Domenicali about his visit to Washington and trying to explain that he hadn’t initiated the interest of lawmakers.

“I was asked to go there,” said Andretti. “And just as I was trying to explain that to Stefano, Greg Maffei, Mr Maffei, broke in the conversation and he said, ‘Mario, I want to tell you that I will do everything in my power to see that Michael never enters F1.”

He added: “I could not believe that. That one really floored me. We’re talking about business. I didn’t know it was something so personal. That was really — oh, my goodness. I could not believe it. It was just like a bullet through my heart.”

Patto della Concordia

NBC says that a source close to Liberty claimed that Andretti had approached Greg at the breakfast to have a discussion with him,” and that Maffei told him that the bid had been rejected for sound business reasons.

Andretti Cadillac’s entry hopes remain in limbo with no signs of a softening of F1’s position and amid ongoing negotiations for the Concorde Agreement, which may take an even tougher approach to the possibility of new teams entering the sport compared to the current version.

Andretti’s recent hiring of erstwhile F1 technical director Pat Symonds, one of the key players behind the 2026 regulations, has added another dimension to the story.

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