Alfa Romeo’s Formula 1 team is very likely to come into American hands. Andretti Autosport is close to buying a majority stake in the racing stable.
There has been speculation for weeks that the American motorsport superpower is interested in a Formula 1 adventure. Insiders and well-informed sources now know that Andretti’s eye has fallen on Alfa Romeo. Negotiations between the US operation and the owners of the F1 team are said to be already at an advanced stage.
Andretti Autosport is owned by Michael Andretti, who has also raced in Formula 1. The American would like to add his own Formula 1 team to his portfolio and has been in talks with the owners of Alfa for some time. The deal could close in the coming weeks, although Islero Investments has not yet said a definitive yes to the sale of its majority stake in the racing stable. The investment company took over the Swiss racing stable from Hinwil in 2016 from the Swedish Longbow Finance.
Andretti Autosport is one of the best-known names in racing, already active in numerous championships. For example, Andretti has his own teams driving in the IndyCar Series, the American IMSA Championship, Formula E and Extreme E. In the latter class Andretti works together with United Autosport, the racing team of which McLaren CEO Zak Brown is co-owner.
Alfa Romeo does not want to respond
Alfa Romeo’s Formula 1 team – originally operating under the name of founder Peter Sauber – does not want to comment on the takeover rumours. Team boss Frederic Vasseur also said little about it on Friday in Turkey: “I can’t say anything about it because it is simply beyond me,” said the Frenchman. “I am the CEO and team principal, but these kinds of negotiations are not conducted with me, that is a matter for the shareholders. There are so many stories going around that you have to ask this question to the shareholders of the company.”
Andretti would have become interested in Formula 1 with the arrival of new Formula 1 regulations in 2022. This should reduce the differences between the large and small teams, so that teams with less financial resources could also compete for the prices. Andretti previously announced that he would only be interested in Formula 1 as a customer team. However, the new rules regarding the budget cap create a completely new situation that also apparently appeals to Andretti.
Michael Andretti himself started a Formula 1 race on behalf of McLaren thirteen times. The former driver is the son of Mario Andretti, the 1978 Formula 1 world champion.