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McLaren boss on Andretti bid: No ‘anti-American’ bias in F1

McLaren boss on Andretti bid: No 'anti-American' bias in F1

McLaren boss Zak Brown has said it is unfair to frame Andretti’s failed bid to join Formula One as proof of an anti-American bias in the sport.

Andretti’s application to enter F1 in 2025 or 2026 was rejected by F1 owners Liberty Media, although the door is open for entry in 2028 if it can secure a commitment from General Motors to build its own engine as part of the project.

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At the start of May, racing legend Mario Andretti, father of team boss Michael, went to Washington in support of a letter to F1 written by a group of representatives from Congress.

A bipartisan group of senators have also written to President Joe Biden’s administration calling for an investigation into whether the decision violated antitrust laws. The senators insinuated that “foreign automakers” had aligned to block the bid.

Brown, the only American F1 team boss, disagreed with the suggestion, pointing out how much the sport has changed since Liberty Media’s takeover in 2017.

“I don’t think there’s an anti-American culture within Formula One at all,” Brown told ESPN.

“When you look at the sport, you’ve got European manufacturers, you’ve got Ford from North America, you’ve got Honda from Japan. So the sport is extremely global. I’ve never come across any favouritism or negativity towards any region of the world. The whole world participates in Formula One.

“As it relates to America, Liberty’s American; we’ve gone from one race to three races in America, including the single largest investment Formula One has ever made in anything, in Vegas. You have Ford, who have recently entered the sport. You have myself running one of the top teams in the sport. You have Netflix, which has been fantastic for the sport globally but specifically North America. And now on the tail end of that we have Brad Pitt, who’s going to do a global movie that is U.S.-based, which will do wonders for the sport.

“I think what Liberty has done for the sport is amazing. If you look at what we needed to do for the sport, we needed cost controls; we have it now, and it’s producing the closest grid in the history of Formula One.”

Brown also pointed out McLaren’s raft of new U.S. sponsors such as Dell, Cisco and Coca-Cola, and the American consortia that have recently invested in Alpine and Aston Martin.

He added: “I’m sympathetic to the frustrations [of Andretti], … but the ‘Formula One…

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