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Liberty Media’s Blockade Of Mario Andretti Is An Affront To American Racing

Greg Maffei and Liberty Media need to end this selfish boycott against their own country and protect the integrity of motorsport. Let America race.


Texans know a thing or two about standing tall in the face of adversity. Our heritage is built on resilience, and instilled inside us is a fierce spirit of competition. Our great state also has a long history of celebrating professional motorsports with the roaring engines at the Texas Motor Speedway and the electrifying races at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin. 

That’s why Liberty Media’s rejection of Mario Andretti’s application to join the global motorsports Formula One (F1) series is a grave injustice. By doing so, they’ve shown blatant disrespect toward the racing legend, leaving Texans feeling insulted and betrayed.

The state of Texas has invested millions of taxpayer dollars to host Formula One races. As the owner of the Formula One Group, Liberty Media dons their cowboy hats and enjoys Texas hospitality in its purest form every year. Yet, when it comes to welcoming an iconic American team, Liberty Media shuts the door and turns its back on the very fans who support the sport. 

It denies not only the legacy of the Andretti name but also Andretti’s monumental partnership with General Motors, a cornerstone of American automotive excellence. Lastly, and perhaps worst of all, Liberty Media denies a promising pipeline of American racing talent and engineering innovation that only stands to enrich the sport.

Many of us in Texas and across the country cannot help but ask, why? Why is Formula One so eager to expand its reach in the United States yet restricts American participation in the sport? The answer is Liberty Media. 

It’s Liberty Media, the American company based in Colorado and the commercial rights holder for Formula One, that is actively blocking an iconic American team from entering the sport. This is the same Liberty Media that, through its subsidiary Live Nation, orchestrated the disastrous Taylor Swift ticket sales debacle, prioritizing profit over the fan experience. The same Liberty Media whose Live Nation was sued for monopolization by the Department of Justice, a clear indication of its questionable business practices.

It is worth noting that Liberty Media’s CEO Greg Maffei’s expertise in gross mismanagement extends well beyond ticket sales. The recent Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix preparations caused unprecedented disruption in the city for months, and despite the promise of economic benefits, the local community bore the brunt of the logistical chaos.

In fairness to Maffei, he did accomplish something once thought impossible: uniting Democrats and Republicans in both chambers of Congress around a common goal. In addition to opening their own investigations against Liberty Media, a bipartisan coalition called upon the U.S. Department of Justice to add the shameful denial of Andretti to an ever-growing list of antitrust violations. Control, spectacle, and profit should never precede fair competition and genuine fan engagement. Liberty Media should be deeply concerned with the direction Maffei is steering the company.

Since being elected to the Texas Senate, I have long championed the cause of buying American and protecting American businesses and taxpayers. We stood with President Trump to protect American steel from foreign manipulation. With the help of the Texas Senate, I made sure foreign governments like China and Turkey couldn’t create a foreign steel market that would gut the American market. We stood firm for Texas jobs and manufacturers and against Communist China flooding the market to hurt those stakeholders. Just as I fought for American steel, I am prepared to stand with President Trump and other elected officials to protect American taxpayers from F1’s unfair practices.

It has been over 45 years since an American won the F1 world championship and over 30 years since an American stood atop an F1 podium. Those two men were Mario and his son, Michael Andretti, respectively. Their legacy will not end there. Greg Maffei, it is time for Formula One to embrace fair competition by allowing an American team into the fold. Our fans aspire to witness an American driver proudly wave the stars and stripes atop podiums, accompanied by an American team belting out our national anthem. 

Maffei and Liberty Media need to end this selfish boycott against their own country and protect the integrity of motorsport. Let America race.

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