Mario Andretti: Formula 1 owner personally threatened to shut out team Andretti

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Mario Andretti and Greg Maffei, the CEO of Formula 1’s owner, Liberty Media, clashed at a private reception during the recent Miami Grand Prix weekend over Andretti Global’s bid to enter the sport, according to sources with knowledge of the incident.

Andretti, a former F1 world champion and the patriarch of the Andretti racing family, described the incident for the first time in an interview with NBC News.

He said it occurred Saturday at the Palm Club at an invitation-only breakfast reception. Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali asked Andretti about his recent visit to Washington, and Andretti told him he had been invited by lawmakers to speak outside the Capitol as they called on the sport to accept Andretti’s application to become F1’s 11th team.

“I was asked to go there. 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 Formula 1,’” Andretti said.