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Alfa Romeo “not blind” to Audi’s curiosity in Sauber F1 crew

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Audi is ready to enter F1 from 2026 after the Volkswagen Group particular advisory board gave the inexperienced gentle for plans for it and sister model Porsche to hitch the grid.

Porsche is poised to link up with Red Bull via a brand new works partnership, however Audi’s future F1 plans are much less clear because it explores numerous choices.

The Ingolstadt marque has been linked with attainable takeovers or partnerships with McLaren, Williams and Aston Martin, however Sauber – which operates the Alfa Romeo crew – has now emerged because the probably choice to develop into an Audi F1 squad.

The Alfa Romeo title returned to F1 in 2019 when it grew to become the title accomplice of Sauber in a deal that has since been renewed on a yearly foundation. However Alfa Romeo doesn’t have a stake within the crew itself, leaving the door open for Audi involvement.

In an interview with Autosport in Austria final weekend, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato acknowledged Audi’s curiosity, however stated it will not change his model’s method or enterprise mannequin for F1.

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“I have to say, I’m not completely blind,” Imparato stated when requested about Audi’s hyperlinks to Sauber.

“But it surely’s straightforward for me, no drawback. We won’t change the enterprise mannequin of Alfa Romeo.

“If in the future someone takes a leap, regardless of the leap, on something, we’ll take the choice we have now to make, however that’s it.

“Actually, it’s no stress. I’ve so many areas to play. When you’re a model like Alfa Romeo, we have now existed for 112 years, the world is open for us.

“We’re leaving a Positive story by way of a enterprise. 2021 was worthwhile for Alfa Romeo for the primary time in years.

“So actually, there is no such thing as a stress. I’m completely not scared, frightened, and even I’d say involved by any of the discussions that I’ve heard are animating the paddock.

“I’m serene sufficient to concentrate on the enterprise each day.”

Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42

Picture by: Alessio Morgese

Regardless of having fun with full naming rights and hyperlinks between the F1 operation and its street automobiles, Alfa Romeo doesn’t present the identical form of funding to the crew as different producers on the grid.

Imparato stated the character of the partnership with Sauber gave Alfa Romeo “the most effective return on funding on earth” by benefitting from F1 involvement with out the excessive prices of funding a crew.

“We invented with our colleagues from Sauber a brand new enterprise mannequin the place there’s a twin governance between us,” Imparato stated.

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“We all know completely, we are saying that Frederic [Vasseur] is managing the crew for the reason that starting, and we didn’t derail, even when we lived some troublesome occasions, let’s say: we didn’t transfer, as a result of we don’t change technique each morning.

“And as Alfa, I’m supporting them and activating all the things I can with a purpose to assist that improvement. The step was for me, we have now to progress 12 months on 12 months, race after race, even when we’re struggling in some {cases}.”

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