Ferrari boss ‘thinking of bringing Alfa Romeo back’ to F1

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: The Alfa Romeo brand could return to Formula One, according to Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne.


Comment of the day

Was last year’s 20% fall in overtaking moves entirely because of the reduced number of cars in the field?

The overtaking moves will typically reduce more than the amount of cars.

The reason is there are less theoretical overtaking moves available in terms of combinations of two different cars. With 22 cars we had 231 combinations; with 20 cars this became 190 – a reduction of 18%. (For an extreme example: if you go from two cars to one, then the amount of cars reduces by 50% but overtaking by 100%).

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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52 comments on “Ferrari boss ‘thinking of bringing Alfa Romeo back’ to F1”

  1. “Conor showed well in GP2, GP3 and Formula Renault”
    He had 2 points-scoring positions in two years of GP2 racing, how is that considered good enough? And taking a pointless swipe at Bernie for not fast-tracking him to F1 is just pure entitlement.

    1. I agree, what about all the drivers he’d have leap frogged who did score more points than him? I feel the same way about that as I do about pay drivers.

    2. Yep. Why should you discriminate everyone that’s not American, that’s how I read it. I doubt Horner only started looking at Honda when they saw what Honda had for 2016. RB has been sponsoring Honda in motogp since early testing 2015.

    3. Well, as we have all probably read, Karun Chandhok for example was helped a lot by Bernie to get into F1(put in some money, phone calls and even helped him get to his first test if I am not mistaken) @ciaran, @peartree.

    4. Robin Miller takes swipes at high ranking officials and influential people as a regular policy, regardless of relevance. It’s considered part of his “charm”.

  2. Oh god… how many more times do we have to hear Ferrari threaten to leave in order to get their own way? It’s getting old. Just leave then. Sure, F1 would probably lose a bit of viewership and revenue, but it would come back. And, in the long run, it would have more opportunity to grow and adapt, with the shackles of their anti-competitive veto being gone. Seriously, shove off, and take your douchebag tifosi with you.

    1. Yeah right, F1 currently has 4 nails in its coffin, if Ferrari left it would be the fifth, sixth, shovel, digger, soil and headstone. A poll conducted showed that 35-40% of people wouldn’t like to see Ferrari go. F1 audiences are in a critical condition, F1 thinks it’s football but nobody is buying package’s to watch a F1 season apart from hardcore fans. F1 needs Ferrari otherwise they wouldn’t give them so much power, look at the grandstands awashed with red, the ferrari memobrilia F1 shifts. I mean F1 is big, but it’s no fifa, nfl or nba. Ferrari are the lakers, the man utd. The new England patriots. You’re deluded if you think F1 in its current situation could do without, Ferrari.

    2. Did you even read the article?
      It’s not about Ferrari getting their own way, it’s about the lack of technology-competition in F1 nowadays.
      Ferrari doesn’t care about the “show”, they want to build the fastest car possible. You can’t achieve that if the decisionmakers tell you that you mustn’t do this or do that, you mustn’t spend more money than this, or your engines have to be cheaper. That slows down the development.
      That would lead to “GP1”-series and that is definitely not the type of racing series Ferrari would want to participate in.

      Marchionne is right on the engine topic. It’s not his job to make sure the smaller teams survive. FOM and FIA have to solve this issue.

      Ferrari have the right to say, that they don’t like the changes that were made and walk away.

      1. Ferrari were begrudged with the reintroduction of turbo power units in the first place. So they are having a consistent stance I suppose.

        Still, they really ought to drop the arrogance. They don’t control F1.

        1. Totally agree. It’s unfair the power Ferrari has.

    3. @ Aficionado9 What a great ‘the king has no clothes’ statement. I think many others are afraid to say this, but once you realise Ferrari are just another constructor you are free to say goodbye to them. Ferrari leaving F1 won’t diminish their past achievements and status as a great brand of supercar. Having a new team replace them won’t diminish F1 either and that allows for other ideas, perhaps Ferrari can just be an engine supplier for a while.

      1. Better Red Bull leave, hopefully the engine is bad next year for them and Alfa Romeo can take there place.

  3. mmm tough words from Marchionne:

    I understand very well the difficulties that smaller teams face, but this is something that FOM has to solve; it is not something Ferrari has to solve.

    He’s basically telling Bernie to give the other teams more money so they can afford the engines, but of course if that’s the case then someone else will have to get a smaller piece of the FOM cake, but realistically speaking who’s willing to make a sacrifice for the good of the sport?

    1. It should come out of the money FOM now takes. But yeah, who is going to agree to that @mantresx

  4. Alfa Romeo would be a good name to have in F1, but I feel that sportscar racing is a better home for the brand.

    1. And would a season in F1 be more expensive than LMP1? If FIAT have Ferrari in F1 to win what is the point of Alfa being there, would it not be better for Alfa to be in LMP1 and go for wins and championships? Still like to see Alfa in any top line championships.

      1. LMP1 might actually prove more expensive, as there’s more freedom to develop the cars; then again, there’s only eight/nine races.

  5. Wow, Lewis Hamilton’s music is almost as good as Jacques Villeneuve’s ;)

    1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      15th December 2015, 6:56

      Lol that too kind! :)

      1. Lol huge JV fan here. The story I really get a kick out of is when a reporter asked Michael Schumacher what he thought of JV’s budding music career to which he said, I paraphrase ‘ I hope it goes better for him than his F1 career.’ When someone told JV what MS said JV’s response was, again paraphrasing, ‘Well I’ll have to thank him for the compliment and the encouragement since I am a F1 World Champion.’

  6. The 2015 campaign was actually Red Bull’s worst for almost a decade – they failed to win for the first time since 2008

    One would think F1’s official website would get everything right…….

    1. hmm… unless they count Vettel’s STR win as part of Red Bull…

      1. It’s implied that the last season where Red Bull didn’t win was 2008.

  7. Skip Alfa Romeo and bring back Maserati to the sport instead. It’s a sister company to Ferrari, same as Alfa Romeo. I would love to see that logo on a F1 car again. (But I always have had a soft spot for this classic brand, started 1914. Not many car companies could claim a century old history) They even have a history of wins.

    1. IMO Alfa is close to the heart of F1, the heart of Ferrari, has a greater heritage and is more commercially aggressive at this time. They are the perfect brand to revive in F1

      1. And not forgetting Enzo got started by racing Alfas.

  8. Earlier in the year, I thought it would be funny response to Red Bull if Ferrari bought Toro Rosso and got a drinks sponsor, so they could be ‘San Pellegrino Alfa Romeo’, but thought bringing back the Alfa Romeo brand was a pipe dream. I’d be happy to see more teams, so this is welcome news (if it happens).

  9. On COTD:

    The overtakes that matter are for track position and not, say, the leader lapping the last place. With 22 cars on the track, there are 21 possible significant overtakes (any car, except the first, may overtake the car next ahead in track position). With 20 cars, there are 19. Hence the reduction in theoretical overtaking moves is 9.5%, not 17.7% (which the COTD author had rounded up to 18%). If all overtakes matter, then there are 22 possible significant overtakes instead of 21 (for each car, it can overtake one and only one car – the one immediately in front of it). This way, the reduction is 9.1%.

  10. Keith’s remark on that tyre infographic shows how wasteful the tyre rules are, and it’s surely not going to get better with the choice between three compounds.
    Personally, I’m more mystified by the “highest number of kms on each compound” stat. 5400 km is roughly the Le Mans 24 Hours record distance, but to do that on soft Pirelli F1 tyres, how many sets would you need?! True that the longest stint possible on these tyres would be far a less flattering stat…

  11. What I find more offensive than a team believing it should be able to buy competitive equipment if it has the money, is a team which believes it has a right to an exclusive veto over rule changes which might affect it negatively. A team which also believes that they deserve a far bigger slice of the sport’s revenues, even when they consistently underperform compared to their rivals, simply because of the brand name on the cars. That is what I find offensive, Ferrari.

        1. Agreed and what I also find hard to believe is SM’s claim that Ferrari ‘has never used their veto power until recently’. My understanding is that they indeed used it a lot particularly in the MS/Ferrari era, not to mention…why would they have been given it years ago if not to use it, as the entity that most key top people within F1 believe is the be all and end all of teams and vital to the survival of F1?

          So yes, very disingenuine of SM to whine when they have nothing to complain about other than for their own self-interests. Looking out for number one is not to me their crime…it is doing it while already being the most advantaged team and then taking such great offense when someone else tries to look out for their own best interests too…the nerve.

          1. I also find hard to believe is SM’s claim that Ferrari ‘has never used their veto power until recently’.

            Correct @robbie, the power is not in ‘using’ a veto but in ‘having’ a veto.
            (just ask the nuclear Superpowers how often they ‘used’ their bombs!)

    1. It is wrong as Ferrari does not need the veto or the most money from payouts. All teams should have equal pay outs but the overall pot this comes from should be larger. As far as having to give their best engines out even if paid for I would agree with them if someone the size of Red Bull wants a really good engine they can build one.

      The biggest 3 in F1, Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari will always have huge power over the direction of the sport no matter what so they do not need an official veto. Red Bull cried and potential new rules on engines proposed. Mercedes have threatened to leave if they move to far from the current engine format and Ferrari have often played this game in the past without having to use the Veto. To some degree smaller historic teams like McLaren and Williams would also have some power in this respect.

    2. They don’t ‘think’ they have the right, they have the right per the rules.

      Mr. Hard-nosed negotiator Bernie had to have seen the merit in acquiescing to such power transfer, or he wouldn’t have allowed otherwise.

  12. “Manor will surprise us, McHonda will be up the front, Sauber will continue to flounder, Renault/Lotus will make gains, Toro Roso will stagnate, Red Bull will have another tough season, Williams will have another ‘nearly’ season, Force India will be surprising in some races, Ferrari will catch a little, Mercedes will dominate once again”##

    That’s my predication for the season at least.

    And do you know what; there’s all this talk about F1 at the moment: where is it going to go? what is it going to do? And I tell you what. The reason I fell I love with F1 was because of those ‘moments’. Just split second moments that don’t mean nothing to anyone else. Those seconds that really make you aware of your blood, those seconds that keep you alive. I found those seconds in Canada 2012; that made me an unreserved F1 fan, that was the race. I stayed through the rain, I stayed there for hours, and hours, and hours on end, just waiting for the race, waiting for that beautiful pass that would be over in seconds. It’s those moments that justify them early mornings at the start of the season and the overtakes that you pine over. The absolute admiration of the skill involved like when Kimi did that outrageous pass on Michael at Spa 2012; that stuff took my breath away, you honoured the courage it took to even entertain the idea of such a pass. My friends aren’t F1 fans in the slightest but I always tell them about that pass, and the absolute balls it took the even think about doing it.

    I want to see more of that. This season has been mediocre, I want to love F1 again like I used to, because to be honest, i’m falling out of love

    1. Kimi on Michael in Brazil that same year was also an amazing overtake. But since then I haven’t seen an overtake come even close to that.

  13. I guess Ferrari have got used to having another team to provide extra wind tunnel and testing resources and don’t want to lose it while they still have some way to go. With Alfa Romeo they can build a new engine from scratch, learning from all their mistakes and not having to worry about tokens.

    1. Oh, that would be interesting. And if the Alfa Romeo engine doesn’t work out, they could rename the team Maserati, then Fiat.
      Some part of the love I have for F1 (@frankjaeger, thanks for speaking of love, cause that really is it), some of the love I had died a little in winter testing when we saw the new turbo hybrid engines fail to run; and then we saw a huge difference in who built the best engine; and then there would be no modifications allowed so the other teams more competitive. There would be no constructor fight, the engines were frozen.

      I would welcome anything that would allow more of an engineering fight in the constructors championship.

      1. Can you imagine if ALFA did aero testing non stop in wind tunnels so as to enter F1 but every year they put it off saying they are not ready yet it is only a feasibility study. This aero data can be used by Ferrari to improve their car unrestricted. How could this possibly be policed?

  14. uhmm i can see them buying Toro-Rosso and use Ferrari engines (maybe re-badged)
    Would be even nicer if they put Giancarlo Minardi in charge or at least give him some role but I doubt this will ever happen.

  15. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    15th December 2015, 8:06

    In a single day Ferrari want to tear up the F1 rule book, not race in NASCAR, walk away from the sport and buy a second team.

    Their press department must get really bored during winter.

    1. Hahaha, good one. :) So true.

      (In fact, I’d recommend this as tomorrow’s COTD.)

  16. Got to hand it to Marchionne, he knows how to generate headlines. They’re just not as crazy as Montezemolo’s. He would have at least said Ferrari is going to leave and probably said something about having 5 teams around that ‘probably don’t deserve to be here’.

    Who knows, maybe the next president will actually not embarrass Ferrari fans!

  17. The easiest solution is to take a leaf out of Red Bull’s book – badge their customer engines. Haas-Alfa Romeo. Toro Rosso-Maserati, or Sauber-Maserati etc. Toro Rosso-Abarth? :P

  18. Alfa’s too great a name to become another B-team like Toro Rosso, managed so it doesn’t compete with Ferrari. But I guess Ferrari customers have always been like that, and it took a stinking wet weekend at Monza and an exceptional talent for one of them to actually win something.

    What did René Arnoux say about Alfa Romeo, last time they built an F1 engine? Sounds like he outdid even Christian Horner in the turkeys voting for Christmas stakes, but I could only find a brief mention of it in a comment.

  19. Thinking more about the news on Horner being impressed by Honda’s development rate, I think there are quintessential pieces of evidence there about PU and chassis pecking order for 2016.

    First, Mercedes does not want to give a PU to Red Bull. Conclusion? They suspect the RB12 chassis will be at least as good as the W07.

    That Ferrari does the same is, then, not surprising. But with Ferrari offering 2015-spec PUs to Toro Rosso, the conclusion can be drawn that they believe their 2016 PU will be at least a bit better compared to their 2015 PU then the advantage the STR9 might have over the 2016 Ferrari chassis.

    However, the real interesting piece is – as the article mentions – Red Bull preferring even the lacklustre Honda to Renault. This is a VERY strong indicator that Red Bull strongly believes that the 2016 Honda PU will be better than the 2016 Renault PU. Crucially, Dennis vetoed the move. Conclusion? Despite Prodromou jumping ship, McLaren clearly thinks the RB12 chassis will still be at least as good as the MP4-31. If Honda will be stronger than Renault, the question is, by how much and can it offset the (presumably not big) chassis advantage of Red Bull?

    Finally, the round-up article also notes that Mercedes told Alan Henry & Co. in Abu Dhabi that the Mercedes PU can now match the power levels of the last V10s. It takes just one Google search to estimate that all 2005 engines produced over (some, like, presumably, Mercedes, well over) 900bhp by the end of that year…

  20. I’m told that team boss Christian Horner was impressed by what he’d learned about ongoing development, and he clearly believed that it was a route worth pursuing.

    Fingers crossed!

  21. Ferrari quitting?. About as likely as me finding some fat bloke climbing down the inside of me chimney on xmas eve.

  22. Really very rich round-up today! I enjoy it!

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