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Formula 1

Bottas wasn’t aware Sauber ownership could change

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
2 min read

Valtteri Bottas says he was not aware Sauber might change ownership when he signed his deal to join the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team for 2022.

Bottas will leave Mercedes to join the Sauber-run Alfa Romeo operation next season and has been named a key part of the Sauber/Alfa Romeo plan to improve the team’s fortunes over the coming seasons.

The team might have new owners by then if negotiations with Michael Andretti are successful.

Sauber’s F1 team and engineering division are owned by a company called Islero Investments, which was created to separate it from the investment company Longbow Finance that bought Sauber’s parent company in 2016.

Andretti is rumoured to be seeking an 80% stake of Islero Investments and the discussions were believed to have progressed well prior to this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

Asked by The Race if he was aware there could be a major change like this when he signed for the team, Bottas admitted: “I wasn’t aware during negotiations about it. And to be honest, I don’t know much details if there’s actually a big chance for that happening or not.

“But I’m sure the people who will make the decision will know what is going to be best for the team in the long-term.

“And I don’t think I have much say on who owns the team and with what percentage, that’s just how it goes. That’s the business side of Formula 1.

“But as long as the team still has the right people, key people in there that I believe can do a great job, that’s the main thing for me.”

It is unclear what impact, if any, an Andretti investment would have on Sauber’s Alfa Romeo title partnership.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Turkish Grand Prix Qualifying Day Istanbul, Turkey

The commercial deal was renewed earlier in 2021 on a multi-year agreement but with annual assessments.

Alfa Romeo’s backing has been described by both Sauber and Bottas as an important part of the team’s appeal.

Sep 06 : Is Bottas right to pick Alfa Romeo over Williams?

However, the main priority is that the team can deliver on its planned funding boost so it can fight further up the grid.

Asked if he would welcome Andretti’s arrival, Bottas replied: “Why not?

“Obviously, as a driver for the team in the future, it would be nice before that to know a bit more about the plans for the future.

“But yeah, why not?”

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