Last year, Alfa Romeo’s title sponsorship of Sauber marked the return of the famed Italian brand to Formula 1 after more than three decades of absence. When it was first announced, the partnership between Alfa and the Swiss team was intended to expand on a technical level and the first fruits of this cooperation should come soon. Or at least according to a new report from PistonHeads.
The online publication claims specialists from the F1 team will collaborate with engineers from Alfa in the development of future production cars of the marque. While the information is a bit vague, PistonHeads quotes Sauber’s Team Principal, Frederic Vasseur, who confirmed the two companies are already working on something together.
"We are already working on another project [outside of F1] together and you will see the result quite soon," Vasseur told PistonHeads. "It's a huge opportunity for us, but it will involve only the guys at the factory in Switzerland, as the trackside guys are focused on the racing."
PH had the chance to talk to Vasseur after day one of pre-season testing in Barcelona and, obviously, time was limited and he couldn’t share more details. However, he hinted at “more collaborations” between Alfa in Sauber in the future which could mean F1-inspired technologies might be adapted for road-legal cars.
Before you get too excited, don’t expect to see - say - a Gulia QV with F1-inspired hybrid powertrain as FCA design boss Klaus Busse hinted at something less dramatic, at least for now. "If you look at the Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglios as they are now, they're already a handful. Unless you are a semi-pro race driver, you don't need much more than that. So the idea that something [more extreme] will come in response to our F1 team; I don't think that it's necessary because our cars now are extremely capable as they are."
What seems to be the most possible debut result of the collaboration between the Italian brand and the Swiss F1 team is an improved powertrain tune for the existing Alfa cars. That's still a good start.