Andretti says control, not money, killed Alfa Romeo F1 buy-in

Michael Andretti has refuted rumors that his plans to enter Formula 1 with Sauber-owned Alfa Romeo hit a financial roadblock, and instead says it was about control of the team.

Speaking at the announcement that Devlin DeFrancesco will complete the team's four-entry IndyCar line-up for 2022, the Andretti Autosport CEO said: "I'd just like to put an end to some of these rumors that the deal fell through because of financial reasons. That couldn't be further from the truth. It had nothing to do with that.

"It basically came down to control issues in the final hours of the negotiations. That's what killed the deal.

"I've always said if the deal is not right, we're not going to do it, and in the end it wasn't right. So we continue to look for other opportunities."

Andretti later added: "Unfortunately at the 11th hour, control issues changed, and it was a deal that we had to step away from because we couldn't accept it. I always said that we're only going to do it if it's right for us, and in the end it wasn't right for us."

Asked by AP to clarify if he meant that Andretti Autosport was expected to "buy it and not control it", Andretti nodded and said, "Basically."

Andretti, who has 42 wins to his name in IndyCar, publicly confirmed for the first time that transferring Colton Herta from U.S. open-wheel to Formula 1 had indeed been part of his expansion plan.

"Obviously if we do ever get a team, [Herta] would lead the way for us in terms of wanting to bring an American driver," he said. "He'd be the perfect guy to do it. I mean, we definitely were going to try to get him into the seat because I believe he could be a competitive driver in Europe. I really do. There's no reason why he wouldn't."

He agreed that there was plenty of enthusiasm in F1 for an American and the return of the name Andretti, but that Liberty had not been actively involved in trying to make it happen.

"Liberty? No," he commented. "I think they would like it, obviously, because they're really pushing the American market, but they weren't doing anything to help us… I think it would have been a huge story. It's a shame it didn't work out. But I don't give up…

"Our eyes are always going to stay open. We're always going to look for opportunity there… not just there but in other formulas, as well, other types of racing. That's what we do. We're in the racing business, and we're always looking for opportunities to expand.

"But when we do expand, we have to make sure that it's a proper deal that we know we can be competitive because that's very important for our brand – to be competitive in anything that we do."

Andretti also confirmed that had Herta been switched to Formula 1, 2021 Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood would have taken his place in the team's IndyCar line-up.

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

F1 continues to boost income as COVID-19 pandemic impact eases
Previous article

F1 continues to boost income as COVID-19 pandemic impact eases

Next article

Liberty: We had to boost team values for F1 “ecosystem”

Liberty: We had to boost team values for F1 “ecosystem”
Load comments
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022