Michael Andretti, owner of successful IndyCar team Andretti Autosport, may be looking to return to Formula One, this time as a team owner rather than driver.
Racer reported last week that Andretti has been actively pursuing the acquisition of an F1 team. Haas, owned by fellow American Gene Haas was specifically mentioned in the report, along with Alfa Romeo Sauber and Williams.
Andretti, who raced with McLaren in 1993 and whose father Mario won the F1 world championship with Lotus in 1978, has worked with McLaren's current motorsport chief, Zak Brown, outside of F1 and IndyCar. For example, the two have worked together in Australia's Supercars Championship touring car series. Andretti is also involved in Formula E.
F1 isn't exactly a sport one enters without significant financial resources. One possibility to raise funds is by going public. Both Michael and Mario Andretti established a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Andretti Acquisition. The company is seeking to raise approximately $250 million, though in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in March the company said it has not selected any specific acquisition target or engaged in any substantive discussions with any acquisition target.
Acquiring an F1 team could be a shrewd move for Michael and Mario Andretti, and their Andretti Autosport team, at a time when the sport is expanding its presence in the U.S. A second U.S. race will run in Miami, Florida, starting in 2022, with F1 chief Stefano Domenicali stating during April's confirmation of the race that the U.S. is a key growth market for the sport. Stay tuned.