Mick Schumacher, Haas, Zandvoort, 2021

Andretti also approached Haas but no “concrete” talks on takeover

2021 United States Grand Prix

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Michael Andretti has had talks with Haas, as the IndyCar champion is understood to be seeking an opportunity to take over a Formula 1 team.

However Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said the possibility of Gene Haas’ operation being sold to the former McLaren F1 driver was never seriously discussed.

“I spoke with Michael a few times, not lately, honestly,” said Steiner when asked if Andretti had expressed interest in the team. “I don’t know what Michael is trying to do. Everybody knows each other in American racing, maybe there were talks but maybe not as concrete as you think they are.”

Andretti is believed to be considering a takeover of Sauber, which runs the Alfa Romeo F1 team. Steiner does not see the possibility of a second American-owned team as a threat to his operation, which has been the only US outfit in F1 since it arrived in 2016.

“I don’t see anybody as a threat [as an] American team,” said Steiner. “We have no issue with that one, wherever the team is from.”

Haas attracted title sponsorship from Russian fertiliser manufacturer Uralkali this year. Steiner believes they could have done better at gaining support from companies in the US.

“I think 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 anybody knocking on our door with big sponsorship saying ‘because we are American this is what we are going to do’ or ‘this is why we are going to support an American driver’,” Steiner added.

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2021 United States Grand Prix

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3 comments on “Andretti also approached Haas but no “concrete” talks on takeover”

  1. It’s awesome to hear Michael Andretti is trying seriously to get into F1 but I think it would be much better to acquire Sauber or any other team than Haas. Unfortunately Haas seems to be have their hands tied with no infrastructure and are not in control of their own destiny. Dare I say, Haas seems to be more of an F2 team that is supplied their cars to race in F1 than being a true F1 team.
    They are the only team in F1 that does not have their own facilities to design and make their parts, they have no ability to engineer, refine, fabricate their own cars, they have to get on the phone and ask someone else to do it for them, their immediately behind the curve once that happens; they’re also really stuck using only those two suppliers and the PU tha comes with it. The business model at first seemed interesting, it was a cheap and quick way to get into F1 and that looked like it could work but has it and will it? I don’t think so. I think the cost would be an enormous to be more like a normal F1 team, be in control of your own destiny and would take a lot of time and probably cost much more than buying Sauber.

    Buying Haas helps you avoid the $200m buy in and you get to put your name on a F1 car and choose your one driver but you’re totally stuck with that business racing model that is not succeeding and in the long run it’s probably much better buying Sauber and its excellent facilities, IT and engineering. It’s plug and play and will be cheaper and more successful.

    Plus those facilities would be available to help all his other teams in other series. I would think there’s a lot of value in that for Andretti’s motorsport and United racing.

  2. I think Andretti is making the right call by going after Sauber and not Haas. Haas just seem like they are treading water and even when they had an interested owner who was actively investing in the team, their results were quite mixed. So unless Andretti was thinking about buying the team and gutting it, going with Sauber seems like a much more sensible approach.

    And in regards to Steiner saying they failed at penetrating the US market, he is 100% correct that they have only themselves to blame. While their headquarters may be located in the US, it seems like none of the actual racing team are US based including the drivers. Not that they need a US driver to attract more fans, but painting the car in a blatant homage to the Russian flag as well as bringing in a sub-par driver just for his dad’s money isn’t going to endear themselves to US fans. American fans like athletes who rise up from humble backgrounds and defy expectations. And then once they achieve success for long enough, the fans will attempt to tear them down. If they survive that attempt at being torn down, they will then become beloved sports figures. That’s just what American fans do. What American fans do not like is an athlete who bought their way into the sport at the expense of others who may have been more capable but didn’t have the financial backing to make their dream come true.

  3. Trivia: Haas’ livery was designed by Brandon Seaber.

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