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today is Jan 28, 2022

Michael Andretti is still pursuing an entry into Formula 1 following his unsuccessful attempt to purchase Sauber, calling the series “the ultimate racing experience”.

The 59-year-old IndyCar champion and ex-F1 racer said he was “48 hours away” from concluding a deal earlier this year to buy the team which runs the Alfa Romeo-branded entry in the world championship. He previously made a bid to take over Force India when it went into administration in 2018. The team was sold to Lawrence Stroll and now competes as Aston Martin.

Andretti runs teams in IndyCar, Formula E and Extreme E but he told the Racer/Epartrade Online Race Industry Week a move into Formula 1 still appeals to him. “It’s the biggest racing series in the world and I think it could just do wonders for our brand,” he said.

“Internationally obviously, we are with Formula E and Extreme E. To do Formula 1 is the ultimate. I’ve always had interest in that.”

However as new team entrants are, from this year, required to pay a $200 million anti-dilution fee, and there are few opportunities to buy one of the existing teams, Andretti admitted opportunities for him to enter the series are scarce.

“It was really, really disappointing that [the Sauber] deal didn’t come together,” he said. “We were literally 48 hours away from getting the deal done at that time as we thought.

“I still very much would like to do it, opportunities are becoming less and less, teams aren’t really for sale right now. We have to see what happens in the future.

“There’s still interest. I love F1, it’s the ultimate racing experience, and for our brand would be just huge, it just takes us to the highest level you can be in.”

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