The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula One team are facing into what could be a big weekend for the Swiss-based outfit at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas as Formula One heads stateside for the first time since 2019. The team who have been linked with a potential buy-out by former Formula One driver and current NTT IndyCar Series team owner Michael Andretti will reportedly hold talks with the American over the course of the Grand Prix weekend although Paddock Eye understands that Longbow Finance who own the Sauber Motorsport AG, the parent company of the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula One team has yet to decide whether or not they are interested in selling the team or not.
It has been widely reported that NTT IndyCar Series star driver Colton Herta who drives for Andretti Autosport could form part of the driver line-up for Michael Andretti in 2022 should a deal be reached although it has also been suggested that any takeover of the Hinwil-based outfit by Michael Andretti would not take place until the 2023 Formula One season so right now the situation is a fluid and fast paced one.
Andretti’s racing portfolio is vast as along with his successful NTT IndyCar Series team where he fields four full-time entries he also operates a Formula E team in partnership with BMW Motorsport however BMW has just called time on their involvement in the sport although it is understood that Andretti will remain involved in the all-electric racing series. Andretti is also involved in the Extreme E all-electric SUV racing series in partnership with Zak Brown’s United Autosport team.
The pair are also involved in the Australian Supercar championship with in partnership with Walkinshaw Racing forming Walkinshaw Andretti United and it remains unclear if the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN deal goes ahead whether or not Andretti would relieve himself of his interest in the team in Australia given that Zak Brown is also CEO of McLaren Racing, the parent company to both the McLaren Formula One team and the Arrow McLaren SP NTT IndyCar Series team.
For Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN’s part, the team has a state of the art factory in Switzerland and the team are aiming to get back into the top ten this weekend with both Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi. The Iceman Kimi Raikkonen will make his final American Formula One appearance this weekend at a track that has happy memories at as it was the scene of his last Formula One race victory with Ferrari back in 2018. Speaking ahead of the race this weekend, Kimi, who just has six Grand Prix left before he retires from the sport commented saying:
“I have some good memories of COTA: of course, it was the place where I scored my last win so it’s a nice thing to look back to, but once I get into the car that doesn’t matter. We know we have to do everything well if we want to come away with something from the race, and that starts on Friday. We had two races in which the conditions were changing and we had to react to them, now let’s see what the weekend in America has to offer and where we end up.”
The United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas is live on Sky Sports F1HD where the team will be joined by American open-wheel legend Danica Patrick who became the first female driver to win a major open-wheel race in 2008 when she won the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi driving for Andretti Autosport.