Andretti says “control issues” killed Sauber F1 deal


May 28, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, United States; IndyCar Series driver Takuma Sato (left) celebrates with team owner Michael Andretti after winning the 101st race of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Nov. 4 (Reuters) – US auto-racing entrepreneur Michael Andretti on Thursday said “control issues” led to the failure of buyout talks with the owners of Sauber, who lead the Formula 1 Alfa team Romeo.

Andretti – a former IndyCar champion, F1 driver and son of 1978 Formula 1 world champion Mario – was in advanced talks with Sauber ahead of the United States Grand Prix last month in Austin.

“I would just like to put an end to some of these rumors that the deal fell apart for financial reasons,” Andretti Autosport boss told reporters after announcing rookie Devlin DeFrancesco as his latest IndyCar signing.

“It couldn’t be further from the truth. It had nothing to do with it.

“It was basically about controlling the problems in the final hours of negotiations. That’s what killed the deal,” said the American, who has long wanted to add a Formula 1 team to his sports activities. automobile.

Swiss company Sauber was bought by investment firm Longbow Finance in 2016, and Islero Investments took control of Sauber Holdings in 2018. Islero is linked to Swedish billionaire Finn Rausing.

Andretti has interests in IndyCar, Formula E and Extreme E electric series as well as sports cars.

Ninth-ranked Ferrari-powered Alfa has signed Finland’s Valtteri Bottas from the reigning champions Mercedes for 2022, but has yet to confirm its full lineup.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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