Michael Andretti Reveals the Real Reason of F1 Deal Collapse, Wants Colton Herta to Lead

Published 11/04/2021, 11:44 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 11: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland driving the (7) Alfa Romeo Racing C39 Ferrari on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on December 11, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


The idea of another American team on the F1 grid was rather thrilling. Michael Andretti had given fans that hope by having discussions with Sauber. However, over time, the discussions were called off. Many assumed it may have been financial reasons that impeded the deal from going through; Michael Andretti reveals otherwise.

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Apparently, it was a control issue. In a recent IndyCar interview, Andretti revealed, “It was more having to do with control issues & unfortunately at the 11th hour control issues changed & it was a deal we had to step away from and we couldn’t accept it.”

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Although it is unknown if the two are connected, Andretti also mentioned his IndyCar driver in the conversation. If Andretti motorsports were to come to Formula 1, Colton Herta would be on the team. “Obviously if we ever do get a team, he would lead the way for us. In terms of wanting to bring an American driver, he’d be the perfect guy.”

With Alfa Romeo yet to lock in their driver lineup for 2022, could the vacant seat have caused problems between the two entities?

Alfa Romeo F1 and Andretti’s fight for control

Fred Vasseur had hinted at problems with the lineup being linked to the ownership of the team. While the rumors were still afloat, Vasseur was asked about his pending lineup.

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Vasseur had said“For sure the ownership could be linked to some choices and it’s a crucial choice for the team. And you can’t imagine owning a company and not being part of the discussion.”

Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 24, 2021. Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi after crashing out of practice REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Valtteri Bottas is yet to have a teammate next season, however, F2’s Guanyu Zhou has been a favorite. With Andretti backing Herta, it would have caused problems within the team. Now, with Andretti out of the picture, the seat remains open to Zhou, and the new contender, Oscar Piastri.

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While the odds favor the Chinese driver, it remains highly unlikely that Antonio Giovinazzi will retain his seat next season. With five races to go before the season ends, Alfa Romeo’s big reveal is drawing near.

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Shreya Sanjeev

606 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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