Michael Andretti, the son of Formula One legend Mario Andretti, is closing in on a takeover deal of Sauber, the company directly responsible for the Alfa Romeo F1 team. Rumours surrounding the deal have escalated after Michael was seen touring the factory in Hinwil earlier this week, and his acquisition of the team could have multiple implications for the immediate future of Formula One.
The Andretti name has been involved in multiple levels of motorsport for over 60 years, with both Mario and Michael competing in Formula One and Indy Car up until 2007. Ever since, the Andretti name has made significant strides as team owners and have representation in many major motorsports.
Given the forthcoming F1 regulation changes and budget caps that are on course to take effect in 2022, Andretti has decided that now is the time to bring their legendary name back to the F1 paddock and have a £296 million bid for Sauber on the table.
Photo Credit: indycar.com
It is safe to assume that with Michael Andretti’s presence at the factory, the takeover deal is coming to a close but it has been stated by Alpha Romeo that no official announcement will take place before this weekends US Grand Prix.
Nevertheless, should the takeover go ahead, Andretti’s takeover of Sauber and Alfa Romeo could have many implications on the future of the team, both on and off the track.
Alfa Romeo remains the only team on the grid without a full driver roster, and the takeover by an American brand like Andretti could cause another twist in the tale. Originally, favourites to replace the retiring Kimi Raikkonen included Formula 2 stars Oscar Piastri and Guanyu Zhou, both of which had been heavily linked to the free seat. However, given the impending takeover, Indy Car star Colton Herta could now be first in line to take up the final free seat on the grid.
Mario Andretti himself is very keen on getting an American driver back on the grid and has been very public in expressing that desire. He said:
“It would be awesome to see an American driver somewhere in there with a representative team. I see a lot of desire there, because in America, you can be quite satisfied to have a good career right here, with IndyCar or NASCAR or whatever.”
“But I see clearly with Colton, Formula 1 is in his mind, very strongly and I think timing is good for him. Again, we’ll see what happens but there’s some action going on on that front.”
It’s clear that talks between Andretti and Sauber continue to go on, but as of right now, all signs are pointing toward the Andretti name returning to the Formula One grid in 2022.
Feature Image Credit: Steve Grant (Flickr.com)
Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.