Steiner: Andretti F1 plans not as concrete as one might think

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Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner has revealed that he and Michael Andretti have spoken, but the Austrian does not believe a Formula 1 entry by the fabled American team is as cut and dry as it may seem.

Much talk this past week, ahead of the United States Grand Prix in Texas,  has been about an Andretti foray into F1 through acquiring a majority stake in Sauber aka Alfa Romeo.

According to Steiner, speaking to Racing365, Andretti did pay Haas a visit with regards to an F1 entry: “I have spoken with Michael a few times but not recently, to be honest. I don’t know what Michael is doing now.

“Everyone knows each other in the American racing world. Maybe it’s been talked about, but the plans are not yet as concrete as one might think,” he revealed.

As for a threat to the current only American team owned by Gene Haas, Steiner said: “I wouldn’t know why a second American racing team would be a threat. In any case, we have no problems with that.”

The Austrian team boss also revealed, startlingly, that despite the USA roots of his team, they have never tried to cultivate the American market by actively looking for sponsorship in the country.

“Otherwise we would have had a few more American shades on the car. It’s not that anyone knocked on our door,” quipped Steiner whose efforts landed backing (and survival) for 2022 from Uralkali, through its billionaire owner Dmitry Mazepin whose son Nikita races for the team as a result.

Mick Schumacher, son of F1 legend Michael Schumacher, is the other driver – both rookies – who is funded by Ferrari through an engine supply barter with the North Carolina based F1 team.

Notably, Mario Andretti drove for an American F1 team when he was hired to spearhead the solo Vels Parnelli Jones effort which was born late in 1974 and lasted a couple of years before the driver joined Lotus with him he won his 1978 F1 world title; the last won by an American.