Andretti close to a deal to acquire Alfa Romeo F1
After weeks of speculation about the US organization looking for F1 opportunities, insiders with good knowledge of the situation say negotiations with Alfa Romeo owners are now at a very advanced stage.
With its owner, former Formula 1 driver Michael Andretti, keen to add the Grand Prix team to his portfolio, there are suggestions that the takeover could be approved within weeks.
However, it is understood that no final decision has yet been made by Islero Investments which is the current owner of Alfa Romeo, following the Swiss team’s acquisition of Sweden’s Longbow Finance in 2016.
If the go-ahead is given, you will see Andretti Autosport add another series to its existing activities, which include IndyCar, Indy Lights, IMSA, Formula E, Australian Supercars and Extreme E.
The Alfa Romeo team declined to comment on the current situation, and team boss Ferid Vasier made it clear at the Turkish Grand Prix that any discussions about team ownership is not something he is personally involved in.
“I can’t say anything,” he said, “because, frankly, it’s not my business.” “I am the CEO and team manager and this kind of discussion is not with me, it will be with the shareholders. We have so many rumors etc that you have to ask the company shareholders the question.”
Sources have suggested Andretti has been drawn to F1 due to the move towards a new rules era from 2022 – with a more level playing field between teams and the continued possibility of collaboration between manufacturers and customer teams.
Photography: Simon Galloway / motorsports pictures
While Andretti has expressed an interest in the past to only join F1 if he can run a customer car, the implications of the era of cost caps that Liberty Media helped introduce have given him reason to feel there are good opportunities to jump in now.
Alfa Romeo has close ties with Ferrari and recently expanded a long-term partnership with Alfa Romeo to continue this relationship, giving the team a reasonable amount of security over the next few years.
Any deal for Andretti to take charge of Alfa Romeo would also open the door for IndyCar favorite Colton Herta to move to F1 over the long term, if he gets enough F1 advantage.
Herta has impressed with Andretti Autosport this year and signed a long-term contract back in May which keeps him committed to the team for a while.
However, any move to F1 in 2023 or later could open the door for Andretti’s Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood to advance to the full-time IndyCar team, with a future currently uncertain.