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Alfa Romeo assured Andretti talks had “no influence” on 2022 F1 plans

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American motorsport marque Andretti was in talks with the homeowners of Sauber – which operates the Alfa Romeo-branded F1 group – over a possible takeover in the autumn of last year.

Andretti already enjoys a presence in IndyCar, Components E, Supercars and Excessive E, and was seeking to prolong its attain to F1 by buying a majority stake within the Sauber Group.

Michael Andretti deliberate to subject Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver Colton Herta in one of many F1 seats, just for the deal to crumble on the eleventh hour due to what Andretti called “control issues”.

Lower than two weeks after Andretti confirmed the deal was off, Alfa Romeo introduced that F2 driver Guanyu Zhou would be completing its line-up for 2022, partnering Valtteri Bottas.

Whereas the Andretti deal would have had a big impact on the Sauber operation and its F1 plans for the longer term, group principal Vasseur made clear the talks didn’t have any bearing on its preparations for 2022 past pushing the timeline alongside for some selections.

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“We didn’t cease in any respect the technical facet, and it didn’t decelerate in any respect the event, that’s for positive,” Vasseur instructed Autosport.

“On some discussions, on sponsors, drivers and so forth, we needed to be a bit current.

“However on the finish, it received’t change the state of affairs. It had no influence, besides that we postponed some selections.”

Requested if he felt it was a distraction for the group, Vasseur replied: “No – it was a distraction for me!”

Frederic Vasseur, Staff Principal, Alfa Romeo Racing, and Guenther Steiner, Staff Principal, Haas F1

Photograph by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Bottas and Zhou have joined Alfa Romeo for 2022 as a part of an all-new line-up, changing the outgoing Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.

The group is seeking to bounce again this 12 months below the revised technical laws after slipping to ninth place within the constructors’ championship in 2021.

The arrival of Zhou – F1’s first Chinese language driver – is ready to supply a monetary enhance to the group due to his array of sponsors, whereas Bottas joins armed with 5 years of expertise from the championship-winning Mercedes squad.

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Vasseur spoke of the necessity to “first construct up the inspiration of the home” earlier than going “step-by-step” within the bid to elevate Alfa Romeo additional up the order.

“For subsequent 12 months, it’s a brand new venture, creating below the fee cap,” Vasseur stated.

“Now we have a brand new line-up. We’ll have a brand new engine from Ferrari. We try to place all the pieces collectively.

“However all people is doing the identical. Everyone is attempting to enhance on the line-up, all people is attempting to enhance on the engine, all people is recruiting. And it’s in all probability the nicest a part of your job, all people is targeted on efficiency, and satisfied that we’ll do a greater job tomorrow. It’s the principle motivation.

“On the finish, you’ll have somebody P1 and somebody P10. We’ll have good outcomes and dangerous outcomes.

“A very powerful factor is that we as an organization, and from the shareholders to the fellows on the manufacturing unit, all people is satisfied that we’re stepping into the correct route.

“That is vital for me, as a result of we want the help from each stakeholder.”

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