Remember that podcast I posted several weeks ago where we discussed the rumor that Michael Andretti was talking to Haas F1 about a takeover or entering F1? You may recall I said that made very little sense if you consider the Mazepin investment in that team and what it would take to dislodge Nikita’s father’s interest and buy Gene out.
I offered Sauber Alfa Romeo as a more logical choice given they inked an extension to the Alfa endorsement, nice Italian tie-in, and the team are a going concern and have a tremendous history in the sport as well as facilities and personnel to hit the ground running.
The team were sold to Longbow financial and while other suggested Williams may be a good choice, a I argued that Dorilton hasn’t owned them long enough and hemorrhaged enough to be looking for an exit door in F1 but Longbow may be.
Seems like I may have been on target as ESPN reported that Andretti is, indeed, speaking with Sauber Alfa Romeo.
“There’s a lot of reports, rumours, and that stuff,” the IndyCar team owner, who also has interests in the electric Formula E and Extreme E series as well as sportscars, told Reuters last month when asked about speculation.
“I’ve been working on it [taking over a team[ for a long, long, time. When the right opportunity comes up I’m going to jump at it. Nothing new to report at the moment, but, who knows?”
The article says that the Sauber discussion made progress which is nice but not a done deal or remotely suggestive that a deal is eminent. However, I still believe, if the price is right, it makes the most sense for the Andretti group and the new cost-cap regulations may make F1 more appealing for them.
I have a feeling that if Andretti were to get in to F1, it would also be around the time we could see Gene Haas exit F1 with Mazepin taking over. Just a hunch but I get the impression that Gene’s had a snout full of F1 at this point. The only thing I think that could find him hanging in there is the cost cap, new regulations set and the result of these changes to see if they can compete.