Michael Andretti eyeing up Formula One team takeover amid talks with Gene Haas
F1: Verstappen and Hamilton verbally spar
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Michael Andretti has revealed that he is interested in purchasing a Formula One team in the near future. Andretti raced for McLaren in 1993 as well as competing in a host of other racing series.
Andretti spoke to Gene Haas, the owner of Haas F1 but the conversation is not thought to have been overly fruitful in terms of long-term implications.
The teams most likely to be considered by the American are Alfa Romeo Sauber and Williams, owing to the fact that they are both owned by investment firms.
Alfa Romeo is owned by Longbow Finance, while Williams was purchased by Dorilton Capital in 2020.
Speaking to Racer, Andretti played down the chances of a deal happening anytime soon but confirmed his interest in getting involved in the sport.
He said: “It would be great, but there is a long way to go if it were to happen.
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“If the right opportunity comes up, we’ll be all over it. But we’re not there yet.”
Haas made sense as a team for Andretti to be involved with given the American location of the team’s headquarters, but Gene Haas is not thought to be interested in selling.
Andretti works with Zak Brown in a number of other racing series such as Supercars, Australian GT and Extreme E, and Brown owns the McLaren team in F1.
Such a relationship could lead to a deal being forged with one of the teams linked to McLaren by Mercedes, who currently provide engines to Williams as well as Brown’s setup.
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Andretti already owns a team in IndyCar, Formula E, IndyLights and the IMSA’s WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.
Alfa Romeo would have a personal link for Andretti, as his father Mario raced as part of their team in the 1980s. While the car brand possesses title sponsorship of the team, the actual F1 operations are run by Sauber, based in Switzerland.
While that location may be a sticking point in negotiations for Andretti, it may not be completely disastrous given the immaculate nature of the headquarters in the canton of Zurich and the state of the art wind tunnel that it houses.
Andretti recently announced that his company, Andretti Acquisitions Corporation, was planning to go public.
The 58-year-old is hoping to raise $250 million on the New York Stock Exchange.
The latest Concorde Agreement which was signed in 2020 makes it easier to buy an existing F1 team or just a stake in one.
There is a $200 million buy-in for new entrants which is divided up between the teams already in the sport as reimbursement for the subsequent loss of revenue percentage.
F1 is currently in its mid-season summer break, which lasts three weeks. Lewis Hamilton went into the break leading the Drivers’ Championship standings by eight points from Max Verstappen after controversial races at Silverstone and in Hungary.
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