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BARRETTO: Can Alfa Romeo go out on a high in their last year in F1 with Sauber? | Formula 1®

Consistency. That’s Sauber-run Alfa Romeo’s focus for 2023, because the Swiss staff launched their marketing campaign with a slick studio launch from Zurich. F1 Correspondent Lawrence Barretto spent a day at Sauber Motorsport HQ forward of Tuesday’s occasion to gauge the temper and expectations…

Sauber are a squad in transition. This is their sixth and last yr working with title sponsor Alfa Romeo, with German automotive large Audi set to make Sauber their manufacturing unit F1 staff when they enter the sport in 2026. And there’s a brand new face in cost, with Andreas Seidl leaving his function as Team Principal at McLaren to become CEO of Sauber Motorsport.

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He’s put in place a construction the place he’s break up the management tasks between Alessandro Alunni Bravi (Team Representative), Jan Monchaux (Technical Director) and Beat Zehnder (Sporting Director) – and that leaves Seidl clear to concentrate on the larger image and making ready the staff for its subsequent chapter.

Make no mistake, that doesn’t imply Sauber are throwing away this season and the subsequent two whereas they await Audi. Quite the alternative. They completed sixth within the constructors’ championship final yr, their finest consequence for a decade, and have some momentum.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi is Alfa Romeo’s Team Representative

If Audi harbour real hopes of punching effectively from the debut, the Hinwil operation must be prepared to do this. That means pushing on this yr, and refining a chassis that was already one of the detailed on the grid final yr. They want to enhance their reliability – that was their best weak point final season – and construct the construction and processes to the extent they’ll address the calls for of a producer.

Seidl is believed to have been impressed by the ability when he noticed it for the primary time in additional than a decade, having beforehand labored on the staff between 2006 and 2009, in addition to the sturdy industrial portfolio they’ve constructed up over the previous couple of years. It was one thing he knew that he may work with and along with the would possibly of a producer in Audi, he believed he could make them winners sooner or later.

READ MORE: ‘Better consistency, more points, better results’ – Bottas lays out 2023 goals with Alfa Romeo after ‘mental reset’

That undertaking begins now – with a powerful marketing campaign this yr. It might be difficult. They need to respect their companion Alfa Romeo, who supported them in robust occasions. They additionally need to respect Ferrari, whose engines they’ll proceed to make use of for the subsequent three years. But on the similar time, they might want to start the drumbeat of Audi’s impending arrival.

This is why Seidl, who used to work with the Volkswagen Group – particularly Audi’s sister model Porsche, the place he gained the well-known Le Mans 24 Hours thrice in addition to, I perceive, labored on particular tasks that evaluated a possible F1 entry – is staying within the shadows considerably and permitting Alunni Bravi, who has an excellent relationship with Alfa Romeo, to be the face and spokesperson for the staff this yr.

It’s why Seidl was within the viewers on the Alfa Romeo launch – however didn’t make any remark in the course of the present.

Alfa Romeo showcase 2023 C43 F1 automotive with a hanging new livery

The focus is on 2023 – and making certain that the Swiss staff evolves in all areas throughout the board, from manufacturing high quality and processes on the manufacturing unit, to uncooked efficiency on monitor and a steep improvement curve.

Alfa Romeo have a great foundation on which to work. Last yr’s automotive was very comfy in sluggish corners however struggled within the higher-speed stuff – and that finally dominated the staff out of the struggle with Alpine and McLaren for P4 within the constructors’ championship.

READ MORE: Alfa Romeo’s 2023 launch showcar goes up for auction on F1 Authentics

Lots of work has gone into making the automotive behave extra persistently, and the early indicators are constructive. Valtteri Bottas says the automotive felt extra balanced within the simulator and he may really feel a step within the high-speed turns. He simply wants to substantiate that when the automotive hits the monitor in anger for the primary time in Bahrain later this month.

When the C42 broke cover last year, it was among the many extra detailed on the grid, the staff having began sooner than most on the new-for-2022 design – and that further improvement time had allowed for extra refinement.

From the renders the staff launched on Tuesday, this automotive looks even more intricate. Unsurprisingly, the ground has had loads of remedy, given within the present period it’s the half that’s the greatest efficiency differentiator.


Alfa Romeo’s hanging new livery for 2023

But by remodeling the rear of the automotive, they’ve been capable of transfer issues round – together with the radiators – and that’s allowed for some extra aggressive bodywork and the adoption of a Red Bull-esque sidepod association.

There’s a daring in-season improvement plan within the works. There’s anticipated to be not less than two sizeable upgrades throughout the first six races, sources say, with Alfa Romeo eager to sharpen their improve charge and ensure they compete persistently throughout the season.

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It’s that phrase ‘consistency’ once more. Alunni Bravi isn’t placing any daring targets in place. Instead he’s staying humble, and preserving expectations in verify.

An excellent yr might be that the staff – as soon as towards led by Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, who might be hoping to construct on an honest rookie marketing campaign – can take step forwards throughout the board, thus persevering with their pathway in the direction of what they hope would be the most profitable interval of their historical past.

Based on what we’ve seen and heard to this point, they’ve a great probability of doing simply that.



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