Alfa Romeo Shifts Gears to WEC, After Exiting Formula 1

Alfa Romeo has set its sights on the World Endurance Championship, and stepping away from Formula 1 for the foreseeable future.


By Ben Bush
Updated on February 8, 2024

Alfa Romeo Shifts Gears to WEC After Exiting Formula 1

Alfa Romeo has set its sights on the World Endurance Championship, and stepping away from Formula 1 for the foreseeable future.

Alfa Romeo recently concluded its six-year title sponsorship with the Sauber team, marked by the final race at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Despite speculation about a potential partnership with Haas, conversations with the American team did not advance significantly.

READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton Contemplated Quitting F1 after 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Jean-Philippe Imparato, CEO of Alfa Romeo, shared with the company’s commitment to continue its legacy in motorsports, now veering towards the World Endurance Championship. When queried about the lack of development with Haas, Imparato elaborated on the decision-making process.

“We weren’t interested in aiming to do a copy/paste operation in the style of the one done with Sauber.  

“It would have led us to become one of those who puts stickers on bodywork. It would no longer have been new and we wouldn’t have been part of a story.  

“We started looking at something else, quickly reaching a conclusion. Alfa Romeo has nothing to do with the world of rallying, the Stellantis group already has two brands involved in Formula E, and so the focus has shifted to the WEC, a world in which Alfa Romeo has lived in the past wonderful experiences.” 

Imparato clarified that Alfa Romeo has not yet finalised its approach for entering the World Endurance Championship. The company is currently assessing the most financially viable method for this transition.

“The WEC world is experiencing a moment of great interest, and when there is a lot of euphoria it becomes difficult to understand what level of investment is necessary to aim for the highest goals,” he said. 

“We saw in 2015 [in LMP1] that uncontrolled cost escalation ultimately rebounds, so we took some time to understand how this will all play out.  

“I believe it is correct to have a clear picture and know precisely what you are facing before launching into a project.” 

A potential option under consideration is forming an alliance with Peugeot, which is a member of the same Stellantis group as Alfa Romeo.

“Obviously it’s one of the scenarios we evaluated,” added Imparato  

“There are already houses within the Stellantis group whose sports programmes are in close contact, for example DS and Maserati in Formula E.  

“When we return to the track we will do so with the support of Stellantis’ motorsport projects, and as Peugeot is already present in the WEC obviously co-operation is more than possible. Then perhaps the two projects may have parallel paths in other aspects, but in the end we are in the same family.  

“However, I would like to clarify that at the moment we are not yet able to confirm anything. We will do so when we have completed the planning and evaluation of the investment”. 

Despite the premature conclusion of Alfa Romeo’s F1 sponsorship with Sauber, due to Audi’s acquisition of the team, Imparato expressed no regrets about their longstanding partnership. He emphasised the remarkable return on investment they experienced during their collaboration.

“I would say [it was] the best investment in history,” he said. “We can say that in terms of image return, for every euro we spent we received 20 back.

“At the same time, we are a little sad because we are leaving a team that has embraced our brand for six years, and with which we have had an extraordinary relationship.”

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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