Micheal Andretti, the legendary IndyCar driver and team boss of the Andretti team has revealed that he is hoping to close a deal with Liberty Media and the FIA to gain an entry into F1.

”We’re hoping in the next couple of weeks. That would sure be a nice Christmas present,” the former F1 driver said to IndyStar.

Andretti, the son of legendary F1 driver Mario Andretti, has been lobbying to launch the 11th team for F1 but has faced stiff resistance from the paddock with people like Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff being opposed to the entry of another F1 team.

Wolff had reportedly said that a new team would need to have an investment of over a billion dollars and would need to pay an additional $200 million to compensate for the reduction in the prize money share that the teams get from F1 as pie would be divided into 11 instead of 10.

The Andretti family has been aggressively lobbying for permission to be allowed entry but has received a lukewarm responses from most of the stakeholders in F1 apart from the Alpine and McLaren teams.

Rumours suggest that Michael Andretti has secured the investment suggested by Wolff with a reported partnership with Guggenheim which will fund the $200 million entry fee. Guggenheim is reportedly going to become an investor for Andretti which will also allow it to cough up the billion-dollar investment.

“There’s a lot of conversations going on, and we’re not trying to get out in front of anything or use the media as a tool to influence anything. They [F1] have an expectation on approach and decorum that people should take in dealing with them, and we respect that,” said Dan Towriss, the CEO of Group 1001 and owner of Gainbridge who are sponsors for the Andretti team and also investors in the purported F1 entry plan.

Andretti has reportedly also secured an engine supply deal with Alpine which could make things easier for the team to launch a full-blown F1 project.