Will the American Michael Andretti buy into the Sauber parent company Islero Investments? The son of racing legend Mario Andretti is to become the new boss of Sauber for 350 million euros.
For years there has been talk of Michael Andretti coming to Formula 1. The 59-year-old son of the American racing legend Mario Andretti (81) has been running the company Andretti Autosport since 1993, which is involved in IndyCar sport (four championship titles, five times winner of the Indy 500), in the Indy Lights sport , in the Indy Pro 2000, in Formula E, in Extreme E and in the Supercars in Australia.
Now plans seem to be concrete that Michael Andretti will return to GP racing (in 1993 he drove rather unsuccessfully alongside Ayrton Senna at McLaren). As my colleague Dieter Rencken from racefans.net reports, Michael Andretti is supposed to be working on a takeover of Sauber, which is under the name Alfa Romeo in Formula 1. For this purpose, Andretti wants to take over 80 percent of the Sauber parent company Islero Investments for 350 million euros. With that he would have the say at the companies Sauber Motorsport and Sauber Engineering.
A spokesman for Andretti Autosport says: “It’s no secret that Formula 1 has been of interest to Michael Andretti for a long time. Numerous options have emerged over the years, but nothing new to report at the moment. Should there be a real opportunity to bring the Andretti name back to the premier class, we would do it. But these opportunities are not there yet, so we are currently concentrating on the other racing categories. ”
In 2016, the racing team founded by Peter Sauber passed into the hands of the French-speaking Swiss investment company Longbow Finance, a company belonging to the Swedish heirs of the packaging group Tetra Pak. In 2018 the racing team moved to the newly founded company Islero Investments, with Tetra Pak heir and racing fan Finn Rausing on the board of directors (alongside Longbow manager Pascal Picci, team boss Fred Vasseur, driver manager and lawyer Allessandro Alunni Bravi and lawyer Ernst Walch) . Again and again there was speculation that the Swedes would want to sell the GP racing team if the opportunity presented itself.
For the 2019 GP season, Alfa Romeo became the new main sponsor and namesake of the Sauber Motorsport AG racing team. In July 2021, a contract was extended early, at least until 2023. The workforce at Sauber has almost doubled in recent years, to 500 skilled workers, and Valtteri Bottas recently signed a contract for several years.
Neither Alfa Romeo nor Sauber comment on Michael Andretti’s interest and a possible takeover.