Mario Andretti has said it would "feel sweet" if his son Michael manages to find a way onto the Formula 1 grid in the future, explaining that "the interest is there" amid reports of efforts being ramped up to enter a team.
Last month, reports emerged that Andretti Autosport team owner Michael Andretti was looking into the possibility of acquiring an F1 team, with fellow American-led operation Haas being heavily linked to any potential takeover.
"If the right opportunity comes up, we'll be all over it. But we're not there yet," Andretti, who currently fields teams in IndyCar, Indy Lights, Formula E, Extreme E, Australian Supercars and IMSA, told RACER at the time.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com, Mario Andretti described his son as "very ambitious" and is hopeful that he will ultimately succeed in his efforts to reach Formula 1 as a team owner.
"There's a lot of speculation, and whenever there's smoke, there's fire somewhere," said the 1978 World Champion, when asked if there was any more information he could share.
"It's no secret. Michael is very ambitious. Motor racing as a whole interests him. Look at all the disciplines that he's involved in. That's his business.
"Now he's looking at the pinnacle, which is Formula 1. How sweet it would be if all of this comes to fruition."
Andretti would not give away specific details about when or how an entry might be formed but said his son, who competed in F1 as a driver with McLaren in 1993, has been looking into the possibility for several years.
"He's definitely working on it, no question," added Andretti.
"He's been looking at that for two or three years now, at least, and the interest is there. But when and how it will happen, that's up to him to divulge."
At present, taking over a current team is the most cost-effective way of entering Formula 1.
F1's latest Concorde Agreement, which was signed last year and expires in 2025, introduced a $200m fee for any new entrants. That money would be split between the existing teams, protecting their revenues with a fairer distribution of commercial rights income.
It's time for the latest episode of our new Formula 1 podcast, with F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Thomas Maher and Mike Seymour discussing the fallout from a dramatic Italian Grand Prix weekend.