RE: Alfa Romeo returns to Formula 1

RE: Alfa Romeo returns to Formula 1

Wednesday 29th November 2017

Alfa Romeo returns to Formula 1

After more than three decades away, the famous Italian brand is coming back to the top table



Well this is some excellent news: after more than 30 years away from the sport, Alfa Romeo is returning to Formula 1!

This is not a drill - Alfa back in F1!
This is not a drill - Alfa back in F1!
It'll be entering a very different world to the one it left, of course, with hybrid engines, halo devices and - dare we mention it again - that logo. Luckily it'll have an experienced team by its side in the form of Swiss outfit Sauber F1, with which the Italian marque has today signed a multi-year technical and commercial partnership agreement.

According to the press release, the deal includes "strategic, commercial and technological cooperation in all applicable areas of development, including access to engineering know-how and the expertise of Alfa Romeo technical staff." None of which means a whole lot to those of us on this side of the pit wall.

What will change for spectators going forward though is that Sauber's Ferrari-powered single-seaters will sport the distinctive colours and logo of Alfa, which will also become the team's title sponsor - now officially named Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.

Speaking about the new arrangement, FCA boss Sergio Marchionne said, "This agreement with the Sauber F1 Team is a significant step in the reshaping of the Alfa Romeo brand, which will return to Formula 1 after an absence of more than 30 years... Alfa Romeo fans will once again have the opportunity to support an automaker that is determined to begin writing an exciting new chapter in its unique, legendary sporting history."

Legendary history indeed. Alfa having won the first two drivers' world championships, in 1950 and 1951 - the latter with none other than Juan Manuel Fangio behind the wheel - before going on to enjoy further success in the sport. Next year's drivers, likely to be Marcus Ericsson and F2 world champion Charles Leclerc, will certainly have a weighty legacy to carry on their shoulders.

Now who can get Martini away from Williams?
Now who can get Martini away from Williams?
As for what this means for F1 in general, it seems that new owner Liberty Media has wasted no time in growing the sport as it promised. What with this and Aston Martin's partnership with Red Bull - with a potential engine supply deal on the cards too - things are certainly looking up. Even as other manufacturers abandon their previous racing series of choice for Formula E, Formula 1 is showing there's still plenty of life left in it yet.

There is another pleasing side to the announcement too, coming as it does during the 50th anniversary of Gordon Murray's entry into motorsport engineering and design. Murray, of course, designed several Alfa powered Brabhams during his long and successful career, including his infamous BT46 'fan car' which wore the Alfa Romeo badge on its nose.

We look forward to seeing the marque involved at the pinnacle of motorsport once again, and to finding out exactly how its experience filters down to its road cars...

 

 

[Period photos: LAT Photo]

 

Author
Discussion

loudlashadjuster

Original Poster:

3,045 posts

117 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Good move, as a junior team to Ferrari, a Toro Rosso to their Red Bull, this makes a lot of sense.

Gemaeden

101 posts

48 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Why get Martini from Williams? Why not get sponsored by Parmalat as in the accompanying photo?

givablondabone

2,581 posts

88 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Can only be good for the sport. I wish them well.

Enricogto

591 posts

78 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Gemaeden said:
Why get Martini from Williams? Why not get sponsored by Parmalat as in the accompanying photo?
Because Parmalat is hardly in the position to sponsor a F1 team nowadays.

NJ72

131 posts

31 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Soo... Essentially still Sauber Ferrari, just a different logo on the nose cone...
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MDMA .

4,106 posts

34 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Enricogto said:
Gemaeden said:
Why get Martini from Williams? Why not get sponsored by Parmalat as in the accompanying photo?
Because Parmalat is hardly in the position to sponsor a F1 team nowadays.
I don't think the €14 billion fraud went down well smile

Tom_The_Light_House

23 posts

40 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
NJ72 said:
Soo... Essentially still Sauber Ferrari, just a different logo on the nose cone...
That is what i thought.

There must be a legal / financial reason for this ?

It would be like having a VW team and a Porsche team.
At the end of the day they are still the same company.

NJ72

131 posts

31 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Tom_The_Light_House said:
That is what i thought.

There must be a legal / financial reason for this ?

It would be like having a VW team and a Porsche team.
At the end of the day they are still the same company.
Just been doing some research - not QUITE like that as Fiat Chrysler (who own Alfa) are still a separate trading entity from Ferrari, it's just that Marchionne is the CEO of both...

But still, it's not far off... It's brand recognition, really. Same with Porsche and Audi at Le Mans

Mark-C

2,636 posts

138 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
NJ72 said:
Tom_The_Light_House said:
That is what i thought.

There must be a legal / financial reason for this ?

It would be like having a VW team and a Porsche team.
At the end of the day they are still the same company.
Just been doing some research - not QUITE like that as Fiat Chrysler (who own Alfa) are still a separate trading entity from Ferrari, it's just that Marchionne is the CEO of both...

But still, it's not far off... It's brand recognition, really. Same with Porsche and Audi at Le Mans
I'd say Audi\Porsche in WEC is a poor example since they both built distinctly different engines - this is just badge engineering.

RumbleOfThunder

2,585 posts

136 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Fantastic news for Sauber. I think they were close to going out so I'm chuffed to see this. Would love to see them hammer the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull with proper investment.

Andy S15

212 posts

60 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Still a Ferrari engine so no real change there, but interestingly I believe it's going to be a current-spec engine rather than the usual Ferrari customer agreement of the previous years engine. Could be interesting.

bakerstreet

3,800 posts

98 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
NJ72 said:
Soo... Essentially still Sauber Ferrari, just a different logo on the nose cone...
Yup, nothing to see here. Can't imagine it will do much for their grid position.

sh33n

143 posts

120 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Andy S15 said:
Still a Ferrari engine so no real change there, but interestingly I believe it's going to be a current-spec engine rather than the usual Ferrari customer agreement of the previous years engine. Could be interesting.
Yer, this seems to be the big win for Sauber. You can stick your name on it, if we get the new engine; obviously in Ferrari / Alfa's interest now to give them the latest engine, so win-win.

Let's hope they finish a tad better than this year, I'm sure all the Renault (and Honda) powered cars will be a bit worried.

Futse

118 posts

118 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
As mentioned before, they will likely get a current spec engine. And some financial aid as well, I would imagine. So could be a bigger difference then it seems at first...

cookie1600

933 posts

94 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Mark-C said:
I'd say Audi\Porsche in WEC is a poor example since they both built distinctly different engines - this is just badge engineering.
Not unlike the Renault F1 with Lotus branding?

AlexHat

1,181 posts

52 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
cookie1600 said:
Mark-C said:
I'd say Audi\Porsche in WEC is a poor example since they both built distinctly different engines - this is just badge engineering.
Not unlike the Renault F1 with Lotus branding?
That was Lotus funded using (then) Ex Renault F1, which went well until the money ran out...

bilo999

40 posts

32 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Great news, but an odd one, Alfa and Ferrari - will there be team overall orders, imagine if Alfa beat Ferrari !!!

TobyLerone

952 posts

77 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Love it. Love it. Love it.

With just a pinch (ok, a shovel full) of nostalgia, I hope to see some proper right racing, and heavily classically inspired liveries.

The realist (or cynic) in me thinks it'll be more of the same.

Good for the sport undoubtedly. And great exposure for Alfa. Let's see some more Quadrfoglio's out in the real world!

suffolk009

3,847 posts

98 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
Good news for everyone except Toro Rosso/Honda.

Usual alfa jokes about failing suspension and the cars being a bit rusty by the time they get to Abu Dhabi...

rtz62

1,478 posts

88 months

Wednesday 29th November 2017
quotequote all
See, the BT46 was ‘controversial’?
As was the Lotus 78, 79 etc.
And that’s what was so right about F1 back then and what is so wrong with it now.
Designers and manufacturers made cars that looked different and stayed within, or strayed on the edges of legality by large amounts, unlike today when minuscule alterations are what win races.
The BT46 was an answer to ground effect that nobody else had asked the question of, (albeit Lotus pioneered the twin chassis etc etc) and that is recisely what I miss about F1, the ability to approach a problem from opposing directions has been iradicated by the rule makers.
Pleased to see that a glorious name like Alfa is returning (in name only?) but sadly the thrill of F1 died years ago.