Bernie ‘hardly thinks Andretti will come to Formula 1’

Date published: October 23 2021 - Michelle Foster

Bernie Ecclestone up close. Austria January 2020

Bernie Ecclestone doubts that Andretti Autosport’s talks to purchase a controlling stake in Sauber will come to fruition.

After all, no one really wants to go to Hinwil and they “leave relatively quickly” when they do, says the former F1 supremo.

While all of Formula 1’s 2022 speculation was on who will take the second Alfa Romeo race seat alongside Valtteri Bottas, suddenly a new player came into the game – Colton Herta.

According to whispers in the paddock, the Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver could pip Guanyu Zhou to the final 2022 race seat, and all because his boss, Michael Andretti, was buying the Sauber-owned Formula 1 team.

Dario Motorsport claimed that Andretti was in talks about buying a controlling stake in parent company Sauber, team boss Fred Vasseur says he could not confirm or deny as it “is not in my parameter”, and then a spokesperson for Andretti threw fuel on the fire when they revealed that “Michael’s general interest in getting into Formula 1 is no secret”.

Andretti himself told Racer that it would “be great, but there’s a long way to go if it were to happen”.

But weeks on there has been no confirmation of Andretti buying the team, and Ecclestone says he doubts it will ever happen.

Colton Herta in IndyCar action for Andretti Autosport at RoadAmerica. Wisconsin June 2021.

“I hardly think Andretti will come to Formula 1,” he told Blick.

“Switzerland is not exactly the ideal Formula 1 location for foreigners even if the conditions are great at the factory and the wind tunnel are actually given.

“Above all, the important Brits don’t really want to go there, and they leave relatively quickly for personal reasons!”

He added: “You just don’t feel comfortable without fish and chips.”

 

This wouldn’t be the first time in recent years that Andretti has been in talks with a Formula 1 team about buying a stake.

According to Haas team boss Guenther Steiner, the American was at one point interested in the Ferrari-powered team.

“I spoke with Michael a few times, not lately, honestly,” he was quoted as saying by Crash.net ahead of the United States Grand Prix.

“I don’t know what Michael is trying to do. Everyone knows each other in American racing and maybe there were talks, but maybe not as concrete as you think they are.”