Mario Andretti Confirms Formula One Role Following Dispute with Liberty Media CEO

Mario Andretti Confirms Andretti Global’s Determination to Join Formula One by 2026 Amid Liberty Media Dispute

Mario Andretti has reaffirmed that Andretti Global remains committed to joining Formula One by 2026, despite a heated confrontation with Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei. The dispute surfaced during the Miami Grand Prix, highlighting the complex political landscape within F1’s commercial sphere.

Mario Andretti

Andretti Global’s ambition to secure a place on the Formula One grid by 2026 faced renewed scrutiny following the intense disagreement between Mario Andretti and Greg Maffei. This development is pivotal, as the entry of Andretti Global, an iconic name in motorsports, could significantly impact Formula One’s presence in North America. The potential collaboration with General Motors under the Cadillac brand promises to reshape fan engagement.

The FIA approved Andretti’s entry proposal in October last year. However, Formula One Management (FOM) has expressed reservations, suggesting a possible reconsideration for 2028. Amid these deliberations, tensions erupted during the Miami Grand Prix weekend, exposing the rift between Andretti and current F1 leadership. Andretti expressed his shock and disappointment at Maffei’s opposition, which he perceived as a personal affront.

Mario Andretti reveals 'bullet through my heart' comment over F1 team entry

“I was asked to go there. And just as I was trying to explain that to Stefano [Domenicali – F1 CEO], Greg Maffei, Mr. Maffei, broke into the conversation and said: ‘Mario, I want to tell you that I will do everything in my power to see that Michael [Andretti] never enters Formula 1.’ 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,” Andretti said.

On the technical front, Andretti’s partnership with General Motors aims to develop a competitive power unit under the Cadillac marque. Despite the challenges, Andretti Global is determined to meet the commercial and technical prerequisites set by FOM. During an interview with The Athletic, Andretti stated:

“Well, what keeps me optimistic is we’re doing everything that is asked of us. On the other side, on the commercial side, it’s been a bit foggy. We’ve been told the decision was not final, but then tell us what will make the decision for us to enter. But to show good faith, the team and Michael have been investing millions and millions of dollars, which is what it takes to form the team. And once we get a green light, we won’t start from scratch. The objective is to be on the grid in 2026.”

Despite the ongoing conflict and the need for final approval from FOM, Andretti Global continues to push forward with its plans to join the Formula One grid in 2026.