Andretti talks did not affect plans for 2022


In autumn of last year Andretti Motorsport aimed to take over the Sauber team in Formula 1, which has been operating under the name Alfa Romeo since 2019. However, the deal did not materialize and, according to team boss Frederic Vasseur, the talks had no influence on the preparation for 2022.

“We have not stopped the technical side or slowed down the development, that’s for sure,” the Frenchman assures in an interview with ‘’. “In some discussions, about sponsors, drivers and so on, we had to be a little present. But in the end it won’t change the situation.”

“It had no impact other than postponing some decisions.” When asked if he felt the negotiations were a distraction for the team, Vasseur replied, “No – it was a distraction for me!”

Andretti is already represented in the IndyCar, Formula E, Supercars and Extreme E racing series and wanted to expand its influence on the premier class by purchasing a majority stake in the Sauber Group. The plan was already to move IndyCar driver Colton Herta into a Formula 1 cockpit.

Less than two weeks after Andretti confirmed that the takeover deal had failed, Alfa Romeo announced that Formula 2 driver Guanyu Zhou would complete the line-up for 2022 as Valtteri Bottas’s team-mate.

Bottas and Zhou form a completely new team at Alfa Romeo after Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi have left. The team would like to regroup this year under the revised technical regulations. In 2021 it slipped to ninth place in the constructors’ championship.

The arrival of rookie Zhou, the first Chinese driver in Formula 1, will give the team a financial boost thanks to its numerous sponsors. And Bottas can bring in his five years of experience from the Mercedes team, which became constructors’ world champions five times during this period.

“It’s a new project that is developing under the cost cap,” says Vasseur. “We have a new line-up. We’ll have a new engine from Ferrari. We’re trying to put everything together.” You proceed “step by step”.

“But everyone does the same thing. Everyone is trying to improve the line-up, everyone is trying to improve the engine, everyone is recruiting. That’s probably the best part of the job: everyone is focused on performance and convinced that we will tomorrow.” Will do a better job. That’s the main motivation. ”

Vasseur knows: “In the end there will be someone in first place and someone in tenth place. We will have good and bad results. The most important thing is that as a company, from the shareholders to the employees in the factory, we do all of them are convinced that we are going in the right direction. “

With images from Motorsport Images.

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