Alfa Romeo remains the title sponsor of Sauber in Formula 1. Jean-Philippe Imparato, CEO of the Italian car manufacturer, confirmed this in an interview with “Reuters” ahead of the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.
He said on Friday: “I signed the contract extension for 2023.”
Alfa Romeo has been the title sponsor of the racing team from Hinwil in Switzerland since the 2019 season and has continued to work together ever since. “Every year in July we take stock,” says Imparato. And from his point of view, the balance is again positive, so that the partnership will be continued.
“I think yes, we have the best return on investment ever,” Imparato recently emphasized in an interview with “”Motorsport.com”. “It may sound surprising, but together with Sauber we have designed a business model in which we have dual leadership have where Frederic [Vasseur] leading the team from the start.”
“We as Alfa Romeo support the team and do everything in our power to encourage development,” explains Imparato. It is crucial for him that the Sauber team makes progress “year after year”, “even if we sometimes have difficulties,” said the Alfa Romeo boss.
Why Alfa Romeo doesn’t make a long-term commitment
In the long term, however, Imparato does not want to commit himself, but repeats: “Every year we decide anew for the following year. Because it is in Alfa Romeo’s best interests to receive a return on investment and to achieve performance improvements every year.”
In fact, 2022 is markedly ahead for the team that hasn’t progressed past P8 in the Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship since 2019. Already halfway through the current season, Alfa Romeo has collected more points than in the two previous years combined, only ten points are missing from the overall result of 2019.
But what if, for example, the German car manufacturer Audi wants to dock with Sauber for the planned entry into Formula 1 for the 2026 season? Imparato: “Any powertrain and partnership negotiations will be handled by Fred Vasseur and Sauber, in the best interests of Sauber. Everything else is a completely different matter in my opinion.”