Andretti interest in F1 still intact despite botched Alfa deal


American team owner Michael Andretti says that his interest in entering Formula 1 in the future hasn't wavered despite his recent failure to acquire Alfa Romeo Racing.

Andretti's motorsport conglomerate, that includes teams in IndyCar, Indy Lights, Formula E, Extreme E and an interest in Australian Supercars outfit Walkinshaw Andretti United, was in the final stretch of agreeing terms with Islero Investments, the majority shareholder of Sauber Motorsport which operates the Alfa F1 team.

But the talks between the two parties blew up on the eve of the US Grand Prix in Austin, undermined by "control issues" according to Andretti.

Although the former IndyCar and F1 driver has moved on from the failed takeover of Alfa, his interest in entering F1 as a competitor remains intact.

"It’s the biggest racing series in the world and I think it could just do wonders for our brand," Andretti said on Monday, speaking at the RACER/Epartrade Online Race Industry Week.

"Internationally obviously, we are with Formula E and Extreme E, to do Formula 1 is the ultimate. I’ve always had interest in that.

"It was really, really disappointing that that deal didn’t come together. We were literally 48 hours away from getting the deal done at that time as we thought.

"I still very much would like to do it, opportunities are becoming less and less, teams aren’t really for sale right now. We have to see what happens in the future.

"There’s still interest. I love F1, it’s the ultimate racing experience, and for our brand would be just huge, it just takes us to the highest level you can be in."

Andretti revealed that talks with Sauber began as early as last spring before negotiations ramped up over the summer.

"It was pretty busy," he said. "Around May is when it started to heat up pretty big, then it got crazy in August, and September.

"It was flat out, that time we thought we had a deal and we were just trying to get it all buttoned up and unfortunately there were things thrown at us at the end that we couldn’t do it."

Andretti says he'll remain on the lookout for any opportunity to join the F1 fray that may arise in the future.

"There’s always a Plan B or C," he added. "So we’re definitely still attacking it. We’ll see what happens, but I’m not gonna give up on it.

"There could be opportunities that come down the road that aren’t here right now and we’re just going to keep looking for those opportunities."

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