Michael Andretti is poised to acquire a majority stake in Sauber and take over the running of the Alfa Romeo F1 team, a source has confirmed to GPFans Global.
The 1991 CART IndyCar champion and former F1 driver appears to have finally have found the route into the sport he has long craved.
Andretti Autosport already competes in seven different series, including IndyCar, Formula E and Extreme E, with a move into F1 another string to the bow of a remarkable racing portfolio.
Andretti is understood to be currently negotiating for an 80 per cent share of Islero Investments, a Swiss-based company set up by Longbow Finance that bought Sauber from then founder and co-owner Peter Sauber in 2016.
Further talks are planned across the forthcoming United States Grand Prix weekend in Austin, with the aim to complete the deal over the next few weeks.
Alfa Romeo has so far declined to comment on the matter. When asked about the possibility of Andretti's move, team principal Fred Vasseur said: "I can say nothing because honestly, it’s not in my parameter
"I’m the CEO and team principal and these kinds of discussions are not with me, it would be with the shareholders.
"We have so many rumours and so on that, you have to ask the question to the shareholders of the company."
A spokesperson for Andretti Autosport said: “Entering Formula 1 has been of interest to Michael and the team for some time. We’ve explored many options over the years, but at this time there is nothing new to report.
“Our passion is racing, in all forms. Should a proper opportunity come along to take the Andretti name back to F1, we’d jump at it.
“But as of now, that opportunity has not fallen in our laps and our focus remains on our seven disciplines of competition.”
The planned takeover is likely one reason why Alfa Romeo has yet to confirm its second driver alongside Valtteri Bottas for 2022.
What do you think?
I believe there was talk before that he might take over Haas. Either that fell through, or Haas isn't selling. Either way, bad news for Haas because they're just not getting the funding.
As for Alfa, does this mean the end of their association with that brand?
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