Ralf says Sauber purchase is done, other reports vary

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

Michael Andretti gives a thumbs-up sign during practice for the Indy500. Indianapolis May 2021.

Ex-F1 racer Ralf Schumacher claims Michael Andretti has already bought 80% of Sauber, but another report suggests otherwise.

Andretti, a former McLaren F1 driver turned racing team owner, has been linked with purchasing an 80% share in Sauber, operator of the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team.

As part of the deal Colton Herta has been tipped to partner Valtteri Bottas from 2022.

As of yet though there has been no official confirmation, so at this stage the proposed deal remains just a rumour.

According to Schumacher though, behind the scenes everything is agreed and signed off.

“It hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, but 80 percent of Sauber has already been sold to Andretti,” Schumacher told Sky Deutschland.

“The Rausing family is no longer a shareholder, although Finn Rausing himself has retained 20 percent.”

Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas leads Turkish Grand Prix for Mercedes. Istanbul October 2021
Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas leads Turkish Grand Prix for Mercedes. Istanbul October 2021

Various Formula 1 personnel past and present have been weighing in on the talk, with the likes of Aston Martin team boss Lawrence Stroll saying that Andretti would be a “great addition” to the F1 grid.

Ex-F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone meanwhile has expressed his doubt that Andretti would come to Formula 1.

As for Bottas, he said that no takeover talks were mentioned in his contract negotiations with Alfa Romeo.

But according to Andretti’s compatriot, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, the Formula 1 interest from Andretti is real and very serious.


“I don’t think it’s my position to really comment on Michael’s situation,” Brown said in Austin. “What I would say is that he is very serious about Formula 1,” said Brown at the United States Grand Prix.

“I think it would be great if Michael and the Andretti name were involved in Formula 1, but we’ll see what happens.”

However, GPFans Global are stating that while Andretti has lodged a bid worth ‘just over $300m for an 80 per cent share of Islero Investments’, the organisation set up to run the Alfa Romeo team, Islero are divided within on whether or not to accept the bid.

It means therefore, according to their report, that the deal is on hold with Isrelo Investments feeling that the value of the team could grow in the coming years with Formula 1’s stock on an upward trajectory.

Alfa Romeo have been struggling on the track for several seasons now, with the 2021 season yielding only four points finishes for the Swiss team.

With only seven points on the board, Alfa Romeo sit P9 in the Constructors’ Championship, 16 points adrift of Williams ahead.


No Andretti announcement but is one coming?

No Andretti announcement at the US GP but is one still coming?