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Andretti Autosport setting stage for Formula 1 programme?

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Michael Andretti was present in Montreal, most believing his presence to be related to McLaren’s plans to expand into Indycars as soon as 2019, but seasoned reporter Joe Saward is reporting an alternative reason for the American’s visit to the Formula 1 paddock.

After the Canadian Grand Prix, Saward noted in his wrap of the weekend the “appearance in the paddock of Michael Andretti, who was obviously up to his neck in negotiating a deal to run Fernando Alonso in Indycars next year.”

But added, “However, it was clear that this was not Michael’s only purpose for being in Montreal, as he was accompanied by his company president J-F Thormann and the familiar figure of Pieter Rossi, father of Andretti driver, Indy 500 winner and sometime F1 driver, Alexander Rossi.”

“You wouldn’t need the other two to get a deal with Alonso to race an Andretti-run, McLaren-badged Indycar, so it was obvious that they were also up to other things.”

“Visits to Liberty Media and Force India suggested that they were there to sniff around and see if a deal could be put together to acquire the troubled team. It seems, from multiple sources, that a financial solution is required VERY quickly if Force India is going to avoid getting into financial and legal trouble.”

He added, “Having an Andretti team in F1 would be a terrific thing as the World Championship seeks to make a bigger impression in the United States.”

“[Force India] is a great opportunity as there is a competitive turnkey F1 operation, which would simply require a bit of rebranding, but Andretti and is unlikely to jump in unless he knows what it is going to cost, and that is not going to be certain until we get an answer to the question of the F1 budget cap – and the length of its glide path. ”

On the subject, Saward concluded, “But speed is now essential or else we may start losing F1 teams that can no longer fly along on empty. And Force India is not the only team in financial peril.”

Andretti is arguably motorsport’s most famous name, if not globally, definitely in the United States. Mario Andretti was Formula 1 world champion and with his family has built a massive racing dynasty on the back of their enormous success in Indycars and most other levels of the sport.

Big Question: Would Andretti Autosport team entry be good for Formula 1?