BARRETTO: Can Alfa Romeo top Sauber in its final year in F1?

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Consistency. That is the main focus of Sauber-run Alfa Romeo in 2023, because the Swiss group kicked off its marketing campaign with a classy studio launch from Zurich. F1 Reporter Lawrence Barretto spent a day at Sauber Motorsport HQ to gauge temper and expectations forward of Tuesday’s occasion…

Sauber is a group in transition. That is their sixth and ultimate yr working with their title sponsor, Alfa Romeo, and German auto big Audi is making ready to make Sauber a manufacturing unit F1 group. When they entered the sport in 2026. And with Andreas Seidl leaving his function as Group Principal at McLaren, there’s a new cost. Being CEO of Sauber Motorsport.

ANALYSIS: What we discovered at first look on the all-new Alfa Romeo C43

He created a construction the place he splits his management duties between Alessandro Alunni Bravi (Group Consultant), Jan Monchaux (Technical Director) and Beat Zehnder (Sporting Director), which leaves open room for Seidl to concentrate on the larger image and put together the group. for the subsequent part.

That does not imply Sauber will trash this season and the subsequent two whereas ready for Audi. The precise reverse. They completed sixth within the constructors’ championship final yr, had the very best outcomes of the last decade and gained some momentum.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi is Alfa Romeo’s Group Consultant

If Audi has actual hopes of delivering a great punch from debut, operation Hinwil must be prepared to take action. Which means transferring ahead this yr and creating a chassis that was already one of the crucial elaborate chassis on the grid final yr. They should construct on their credibility, which was their largest weak spot final season, and construct the construction and processes to the extent that they’ll address a producer’s calls for.

Seidl, who beforehand labored on the group from 2006 to 2009, is believed to have been impressed by the ability he noticed for the primary time in additional than a decade and the sturdy business portfolio they’ve constructed over the previous few years. yr. It was one thing he knew might work with the power of a producer at Audi, and he believed he might make them future winners.

READ MORE: “Higher consistency, extra factors, higher outcomes” – Bottas reveals 2023 objectives with Alfa Romeo after “psychological reset”

This mission begins now with a powerful marketing campaign this yr. It will likely be troublesome. They wish to respect their accomplice, Alfa Romeo, who has supported them in troublesome instances. Additionally they wish to respect Ferrari, whose engines they may proceed to make use of for the subsequent three years. However on the similar time, they’re going to have to kickstart the drum beat of Audi’s upcoming arrival.

That is why Seidl, who as soon as labored with the Volkswagen Group – notably with Audi’s sister model Porsche, through which it gained the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans thrice, and on particular tasks, as I perceive it, to think about a possible F1 entry, ought to keep a bit within the shadows and go together with Alfa Romeo. to let Alunni Bravi, who has an incredible relationship with, be the face and spokesperson of the group this yr.

That is why Seidl was within the viewers on the Alfa Romeo launch however did not make any feedback in the course of the present.

Alfa Romeo showcases 2023 C43 F1 with putting new look

The main target is 2023 and making certain the Swiss group evolves in all areas, from manufacturing high quality and processes within the manufacturing unit to uncooked efficiency on the monitor and a steep growth curve.

Alfa Romeo has a great basis to work with. Final yr’s automotive was very comfy in sluggish corners, however struggled at larger speeds – and that finally put the group out of the P4 combat with Alpine and McLaren within the constructors’ championship.

READ MORE: Alfa Romeo’s 2023 promotional automotive goes up for public sale at F1 Authentics

A number of work has been performed to make the automotive behave extra constantly and the primary indicators are optimistic. Valtteri Bottas says the automotive is extra secure within the simulator and might really feel a step in high-speed turns. That needs to be confirmed when the automotive hit the monitor in anger for the primary time in Bahrain later this month.

When the C42 took cowl final yr it was one of many extra detailed ones on the grid, with the group getting began on the brand new design for 2022 sooner than most and this further growth time allowed for additional refinement.

In accordance with the pictures the group launched on Tuesday, this automotive appears much more complicated. Unsurprisingly, the ground has been closely traded, contemplating it is the largest efficiency differentiator within the present period.


Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas might be companions once more in 2023

However by overhauling the rear of the automotive, they had been capable of transfer every little thing, together with the radiators, and this allowed for a extra aggressive bodywork and adoption of a Pink Bull-like sidepod association.

A daring in-season growth plan is within the works. A minimum of two main upgrades are anticipated within the first six races, with Alfa Romeo eager to sharpen their improve charges and guarantee they compete constantly all through the season, sources stated.

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Once more, that phrase is ‘consistency’. Alunni Bravi doesn’t set daring objectives as a substitute. As an alternative, he stays humble and retains expectations in examine.

A great yr will once more be when the group led by Bottas and Zhou Guanyu will have the ability to step ahead on the board, hoping to construct on a great rookie problem to allow them to proceed on their means in the direction of what they most hope to occur. It’s a profitable interval in its historical past.

Primarily based on what we have seen and heard to this point, there is a good probability they’re going to just do that.

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