[F1 2019 VIDEO FEATURE] ALFA ROMEO RACING: F1’s TOUGH SQUAD

Alfa Romeo Racing is one tough independent squad. The Italian marque rebranding Sauber, Switzerland’s intrepid privateer team that has put two cars on the grid since 1993.

The rebrand the brainchild of the late Sergio Marchionne, former Ferrari chairman and Fiat Chrysler CEO, who wanted to return the allure to Alfa Romeo… F1’s original world champion.

SOUNDBITE (English) SERGIO MARCHIONNE,
FORMER FIAT CHRYSLER (FCA) CEO:
"I've been waiting to see this for long, long time. To be able to see that on a car, to be able to see an Alfa red on the thing to see the support of the FCA team and Ferrari in bringing us back is a big, big deal. I realise that maybe to the outside world it's not, but to me it's a big bloody deal. Look, let's do it and let's do it right."

2018 saw Alfa Romeo join Sauber as its title partner, with Ferrari’s former chief designer Simone Resta switching over, before the name change for 2019, and more Scuderia talent moving in. 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi behind the wheel.

All of it, reportedly, likely to lead to a full Sauber takeover…

But, a change of plans could be in the air with the Prancing Horse looking to reel Resta back in, with FCA stalling on acquiring more Sauber shares. Alfa Romeo’s sales down across its various markets.

And FCA’s proposed 50/50 merger with Renault not going ahead despite its attractiveness to the French marque.

Regardless of a potential change in direction, the underlying outfit is rock solid under the management of racing gun, Frédéric Vasseur.

SOUNDBITE (English) FRÉDÉRIC VASSEUR,
TEAM PRINCIPAL, ALFA ROMEO RACING:
“The goal is to build up a strong Formula 1 team based on a strong company with good resources and I think [that] the [team’s] facility already is huge.”

In the meantime, Alfa Romeo has its head down with F1 having done its first of nine races in six weeks. An incredibly intense period that will have a huge effect on whether it achieves its 2019 target.

… to improve on the incredible growth shown last season.

SOUNDBITE (English) FRÉDÉRIC VASSEUR,
TEAM PRINCIPAL, ALFA ROMEO RACING:
“The team did a good job not only in the winter but all over the season on every single department of the company - and if we can do the same, for sure we have to start the season a bit higher than last year - and if we can have the same ramp up during the season it will be perfect.”