Haas boss Steiner reveals talks with F1-linked Andretti

Date published: October 21 2021 - Jamie Woodhouse

Michael Andretti gives thumbs-up during Indy500 practice. Indianapolis May 2021.

Michael Andretti is being linked with a Formula 1 venture, and Haas were one of the teams he had been in contact with.

Rumours surfaced recently that the former F1 and IndyCar driver had held talks with the Alfa Romeo F1 team, with word that he would look to purchase an 80% controlling stake in the team.

There has been little movement on that front, but Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has revealed he too had conversations with Andretti, albeit not recently.

Naturally an American buying an American team would make sense but while Steiner does not know what Andretti’s plans are now, he said the interactions with Haas led to nothing “concrete”.

“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.”

Nikita Mazepin in action for Haas. Turkey, October 2021.

So if Andretti was to set his sights on Alfa Romeo, would Haas feel threatened by an American rival joining them on the grid?

“I don’t see anyone as a threat, as an American team, we have no issue with that one, wherever the team is from,” Steiner affirmed.

But while Haas are an American team, finding American sponsors has been far from easy.

And Steiner admits his team should have done more to crack the American market.

 

“What we didn’t do, we didn’t exploit the American market, the sponsorship market, as much as we should have because otherwise we would have more American on the car,” he said.

“There hasn’t come anyone knocking on our door with big sponsorship saying ‘because we are American, this is what we will do’ or ‘this is why we will support an American driver’.

“There is no magic in this game and whatever happens there won’t be a lot of change. There is a lot of talk at the moment, but we need to walk now.”