The Alfa Romeo fully returns to Formula 1 in 2019 for the first time in over 30 years, after last season it enhanced its presence with title sponsorship and as a technical partner of Sauber. The move is the culmination of a long held desire of former Ferrari chairman and FIAT boss Sergio Marchionne’s desire to bring Alfa Romeo back into Formula 1. It is positive for F1 in that it brings another strong car brand into the sport and most importantly, as part of the alliance with Alfa’s sister brand Ferrari, the Maranello team will have more options when negotiating with Liberty Media around Ferrari’s ongoing participation in Formula 1 beyond its current contract ending in 2020.
It therefore increases the Italian side’s sphere of influence in Formula 1, bringing Ferrari to a similar level of influence as Mercedes and Renault.
And, as reported earlier today by Autobild, it is not just the technical concept that makes Ferrari so strong right now, ahead of the second testing session in Barcelona. The new team boss Mattia Binotto has managed in no time to create the right alliances: with Alfa Romeo and Haas, Ferrari has two customer teams that can contribute to the general development of the car.
Scuderia Ferrari supplies both teams not only with engines, but also works more closely together with them and as a result the Maranello team get regularly feedback, which also serves the further development of their own car. Especially during the first week of testing in Barcelona, it became clear how closely Ferrari and their partner teams are now cooperating. According to Autobild, there have been regular meetings between Team Principal Mattia Binotto and representatives of Alfa Romeo and Haas in order to outline the ideal development directions and analyse the data gathered after the first pre-season testing period at the Circuit de Catalunya, similar to how Red Bull operates with Toro Rosso, a team that has been used to test new ideas, mainly for the Honda engine.
As reported by Autobild, Scuderia Ferrari’s on track engine chief Luigi Fraboni is also responsible for Alfa Romeo: “Especially now when testing is so limited, it is important that you can legally collect as much data as possible. And Alfa and Haas are also benefiting from it.”
A conceput which Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has always acknowledged: “Toro Rosso has done some development work for us with Honda and probably even sacrificed some races for it. But that makes them stronger for 2019. They also benefit from it.”