Cape Town - With Force India facing money problems, reports have emerged
claiming that Michael Andretti could step up as the team's saviour.
Andretti was seen in the Montreal paddock for the Canadian
GP with many a photograph taken of the American speaking with Fernando Alonso.
And while he may have been trying to convince the Spaniard
to drop Formula 1 for IndyCars, motorsport journalist Joe Saward says he may
have also been in the paddock for a different reason: Force India.
Saward wrote on his MotorsportWeek.com blog: "It was
clear that this [Alonso] was not Michael's only purpose for being in Montreal,
as he was accompanied by his company president J-F Thormann and the familiar
figure of Pieter Rossi, father of Andretti driver, Indy 500 winner and
sometimes F1 driver, Alexander Rossi.
"You wouldn't need the other two to get a deal with
Alonso to race an Andretti-run, McLaren-badged Indycar, so it was obvious that
they were also up to other things.
"Visits to Liberty Media and Force India suggested that
they were there to sniff around and see if a deal could be put together to
acquire the troubled team."
He added: "It seems, from multiple sources, that a
financial solution is required VERY quickly if Force India is going to avoid
getting into financial and legal trouble. Current owners Vijay Mallya and
Subrata Roy do not have cash available to pay for Formula 1.
"Having an Andretti team in F1 would be a terrific
thing as the World Championship seeks to make a bigger impression in the United
States. [Force India] is a great opportunity as there is a competitive turnkey
F1 operation, which would simply require a bit of rebranding."
Force India themselves have admitted that money is very
tight at the moment with CEO Otmar Szafnauer confirming that they hit up
Liberty Media for a few bob.
“It’s no secret we asked for a bit of money up front (from
Liberty Media) so that gets us through the winter," he said.
"This year, that money wasn’t forthcoming because I
think some of the teams said ‘You can’t do that’ and blocked it. So that... put
a bit of a financial strain on us over the winter, if you don’t have the cash
"But now we’re past the winter months it should be
easier for us."