It emerged over the Turkish Grand Prix weekend that 1991 IndyCar champion and former F1 driver Michael Andretti is closing in on a deal to purchase a majority stake in Sauber’s controlling company, believed to be worth up to 80%. 

Such a deal would give Andretti control of the Swiss outfit’s racing and engineering arms, which includes the Alfa Romeo F1 team. 

According to RACER, Andretti, the son of 1978 F1 world champion Mario, is set to hold significant talks with Sauber at the upcoming United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.

Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur remained tight-lipped when asked about the growing rumours on Friday. 

“I can say nothing because honestly it’s not in my perimeter,” Vasseur said. 

“I’m the CEO and team principal, and these kind of discussions are not with me, it would be with the shareholders. 

“We have so many rumuors and so on that, you’d have to ask the question to the shareholders of the company.” 

Andretti Autosport already runs a successful team in IndyCar, whose current drivers include Colton Herta, who has won six races over his four years in the series. 

The 21-year-old American - who is the youngest person to ever win an IndyCar race - has been linked with a switch to F1 in recent years, though he is currently lacking the superlicence points required to race in the world championship. 

Andretti recently signed ex-Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean to its roster for the 2022 IndyCar season. The American squad also competes in Formula E via a collaboration with BMW.

Meanwhile, Alfa Romeo has just signed Valtteri Bottas from Mercedes on a long-term contract and is currently weighing up who to place alongside the Finn next season.

Formula 2 championship leader Oscar Piastri and fellow frontrunner Guanyu Zhou have both been heavily linked with replacing Antonio Giovinazzi in the sole-remaining seat on the F1 grid for 2022. 

“Seriously we are not in a rush to take a decision [on drivers],” Vasseur insisted. 

“We have a couple of options on the table and we have to take time to decide, but we are not in a rush. The situation won’t change over the next couple of days and we will take a decision soon.

“We are discussing with all the parties involved and it’s not an easy choice. We are in the beginning of the new regulations, it’s a new journey for F1 and we have to consider all the points. 

“It would make sense for us to have a look at the last events in F2 — Monza and Sochi — and OK now the situation is like this and we will take a decision in the next couple of weeks."