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Zak Brown speaks out on 'anti-American bias' in F1

Zak Brown speaks out on 'anti-American bias' in F1

Zak Brown speaks out on 'anti-American bias' in F1

Zak Brown speaks out on 'anti-American bias' in F1

McLaren team boss Zak Brown has given his thoughts on suggestions that F1 has an 'anti-American bias' - after Andretti's bid to join the grid in 2026 was emphatically rejected.

Andretti's attempt to gain entry in 2026 were shut down last month, when Liberty Media rejected the team's bid, citing the lack of 'value' they would bring to the brand.

In response, 1978 F1 World Champion Mario Andretti - father of team boss Michael Andretti - went to Washington D.C. in support of a letter to F1 written by a group of representatives from Congress.

READ MORE: Seismic F1 rule changes ANNOUNCED for 2026

Within the letter was a complaint directed at 'foreign automakers', with the bipartisan signatories insinuating that some had attempted to block Andretti's bid. Unsurprisingly, accusations of an anti-American bias from sporting bosses quickly followed.

However, Brown - the only American US team boss in F1 - has now shot down such suggestions of bias, instead praising Liberty Media for helping grow motorsport since buying Formula 1 in 2017.

"I don't think there's an anti-American culture within Formula 1 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.

Brown with former US President Donald Trump in Miami earlier this year
Mario Andretti has been highly critical of F1 bosses

"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.

"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 1."

Brown - I sympathize with Andretti

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 1 isn't welcoming America' ... I think it's unfortunate that the root of the issue [has moved away from being] between Andretti and Formula 1 and adding value."

As for Andretti, the team now has an opportunity to apply for F1 entry from 2028, with reports indicating they'll do exactly that.

Nevertheless, with team and FIA bosses suggesting Andretti should buy an existing team rather than enter as a new one, it seems there are many twists and turns yet to come in their journey to join the grid.

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McLaren F1 Andretti Zak Brown Liberty Media Mario Andretti
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