Alfa Romeo CEO: “No hurry” to decide F1 future beyond 2023

Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato says the company is in “no hurry” to make a call on its long-term future in Formula 1.

Alfa Romeo CEO: “No hurry” to decide F1 future beyond 2023

Alfa Romeo announced last month that it will conclude its sponsorship deal with the Sauber team at the end of the 2023 season ahead of the Swiss outfit’s expected alliance with Audi.

The Alfa announcement was made on the same day that Audi confirmed its intention to enter F1 in 2026, and it was seen by some observers as a clumsy attempt to draw attention away from it.

Alfa can only stay in F1 beyond 2023 if it can agree a deal with a team using Ferrari engines, which at the moment leaves Haas as its sole option. The only other possibility would be to hook up with a new entrant who agrees a PU partnership with Maranello, such as Andretti.

Alternatively, the company could look at other categories, such as Formula E or the World Endurance Championship.

Like other manufacturers Alfa is moving towards electric vehicles, which could inform any decision on its motor sport future.

"I'm totally open to everything,” Imperato told Motorsport.com. “By the way, it's a period that gives me the opportunity to study everything with no pressure. That's what I have.

“And I would say, even if we have to take a decision before the end of this year, we have some weeks, months, to see how is the business, and as well to choose in a kind of serene atmosphere.

“So I'm not in a hurry. Everything is on the table, I would say. I would love to find the best compromise between motorsport DNA, and the EV transition that you see.

“What I'm trying to build is this consistency between my history and the necessary existential move that I have to do. And it's not obvious I would say, between the DNA history, and the switch.”

Jean Philippe Imparato, Brand CEO, Alfa Romeo

Jean Philippe Imparato, Brand CEO, Alfa Romeo

Photo by: Jean Philippe Imparato

While declining to comment on Sauber’s expected deal with Audi, Imparato said the timing of the 2023 contract announcement was to provide “clarity” on its involvement.

"The need for clarity seems to be very important. So what I wanted to send as a message was super simple. One, I renew the contract with Sauber Engineering for 2023, for one reason - we are happy with them.

“Not only on the business side, because on the business side, I have probably the best return on investment of the paddock. But on the way we are working together. We are working on special editions, but as well we organised special events together with GTA owners, with classic owners. We are happy to be together.

“Second message, never forget that I have with Sauber Engineering an annual contract with yearly assessment. And I can exit each and every end of July of any year.

“Third message, 2024 will be the first year when I launch a 100% EV offer for Alfa Romeo. So at one point of time, as we cannot plan for three months, I have to plan for more than that.

“So I said guys, we have to open a new chapter of our history, a new chapter of our adventure, so it's more than a history with Sauber, and with motorsport, and let's benefit from this context to be clear. And that was a sense of our communication.”

Read Also:

Asked if a WEC project is a future option, Imparato insisted that anything is possible.

"Nothing definitive on '24, absolutely nothing. Today I'm focused on 2022-23. In the coming months, I can say that, we will be ready to open the 2024, ‘25, ‘26 consideration and studies.

“And I will come back to you the day I will consider that I have something that is consistent with my DNA, with the Italian sportiness of Alfa Romeo.  I need to be consistent - Italian sportiness, for me it's the signature of Alfa Romeo.”

He added: “It's very clear, for the sake of clarity once more, we will never run with another engine than Ferrari if we were to stay in F1."

shares
comments

Related video

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era
Previous article

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

Next article

Ocon: Only Hamilton has done a better job as Alonso’s F1 teammate

Ocon: Only Hamilton has done a better job as Alonso’s F1 teammate
Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull Prime

Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull

The 2022 Formula 1 season was Mercedes' leanest for a decade, achieving just a solitary pole and grand prix win. Yet the team is confident it has got the tools it needs to cast that disappointment aside and return to the front of the field again next year.

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Prime

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments.

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Prime

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1.

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Prime

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022